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The Nonprofit Difference

The Not-for-Profit Difference

Not-for-profit providers of care and services are leading the way in innovative and consumer-focused options to help seniors stay at home, meet new people, take part in activities and most important, live an enriching and fulfilling life. 

As not-for-profits, they are driven by a higher moral purpose not by the bottom line on their balance sheets. Their mission-driven approach means that they prioritize quality of life programming to ensure that older persons not only age safely, but do so in the place they call home, with the most innovative care and services and with the utmost dignity.

  • The main focus of a not-for-profit organization is not to create revenue, but to create better options for the people they serve.
  • The true bottom line is not an annual profit/loss statement. It’s resident satisfaction.


  • Not-for-profit providers of aging services offer a commitment to quality that stems from a mission of service and a history of compassion.
  • A major study of nursing home quality in the U.S. and Canada found that not-for-profits consistently delivered better outcomes in four key areas relating to quality:
    • More or higher quality of staffing.
    • Lower prevalence of pressure ulcers.
    • Lower prevalence of restraints.
    • Fewer government citations for deficiencies.

The study, conducted by a team of Canadian researchers and published in the British Medical Journal in 2009, included a meta-analysis of 82 prior studies comparing quality of care in tens of thousands of for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes, mostly in the U.S.

Compassionate Care

  • Not-for-profit organizations offer residents the assurance of knowing they can have lifelong access to living arrangements and services should they outlive their financial resources through no fault of their own.

Commitment to Staffing and Staff

  • As part of its mission, a not-for-profit organization recognizes that staff satisfaction and commitment are related to sufficient numbers of staff, fair wages and benefits, work flexibility when needed, continuing education/growth opportunities and an environment of respect.

Person-Directed Care

  • The latest evolution in senior services revolves around respecting the needs and desires of the individual, rather than fitting the individual to traditional patterns of the facility. Many not-for-profit providers are at the forefront of this change.

Ongoing Improvement

  • Not-for-profit organizations are committed to innovation and continuous quality improvement, with a goal of improving the entire field of aging services. They tailor housing, health care and community services to address unmet needs within our communities.
  • Not-for-profit organizations have been at the forefront of improving services for older persons, pioneering the introduction of new options such as “small house” nursing centers. Not-for-profits also have been driving important reforms, including reductions in the use of restraints and psychotropic drugs in nursing centers.