Published On: Feb 25, 2015Updated On: Mar 03, 2015

Thriving not-for-profit aging services organizations are characterized by strong leadership, mission-driven business practices, a quality workforce and innovative care delivery models. As leaders in their communities, these organizations are guardians of values, cultivators of volunteerism and stewards of the public interest. 

LeadingAge Thrive provides an essential framework and resources to help organizations achieve a successful future in meeting the needs of the people and communities they serve. The Thrive framework focuses on Community Involvement and Engagement, Governance, Philanthropy, Quality, Strategic Partnerships, Strategic Planning and Workforce and Leadership Development. 

The questions in each of the following topics are meant to stimulate discussion among your leadership team and board of directors. We hope these questions prompt conversations that lead to actions that will enhance the future success of your organization. 

To be executed effectively, identified strategies require ongoing evaluation of progress and measurement of outcomes. Most questions include resources that link to white papers, articles, tools, presentations and business intelligence. 

Though every question may not have resources listed as yet, resources are forthcoming. Thrive is a dynamic initiative and LeadingAge will continually add to Thrive resources as we learn from you about your areas of greatest need.

Effective community engagement is an essential component of thriving not-for-profit organizations. It ensures that an organization understands the broader community’s needs and addresses them. It includes sustained advocacy on the local, state and federal levels for the right policies for the right reasons.
Quality is not a given. It must be pursued and measured constantly. To assure quality, organizations must have explicit and measurable quality indicators that support their strategic goals. These measures should be part of regular assessment and feedback, and used to drive continuous process improvement – whether in customer or clinical services, operations or finance.
Understanding and staying in touch with the fundamentals of philanthropy is critical to the overall success of a not-for-profit organization’s fundraising program, whether that  program is in its infancy or is more mature. Successful fundraising programs can incorporate multi-tiered, diverse strategies such as estate planning, planned giving, endowments, annual gifts and capital campaigns.
Organizations need strong leaders and a stable, competent staff to guide, manage and deliver services to residents/clients. The quality of staff at all levels determines, in large part, the quality of care residents/clients receive and the quality of life they experience. It is essential, therefore, to pay attention to the resources and processes in place to recruit, develop and retain a quality workforce across all occupations, staff levels and settings.
Strong boards are built thoughtfully over time starting with recruitment of knowledgeable, committed board members. The board and CEO must have a good working relationship built on mutual respect and trust. In addition, the board and leadership team must engage in generative discussions to guide informed, strategic thinking and set the stage for decision making.
Strong strategic partnerships position organizations as leaders and innovators. Partnerships reinforce the organization’s mission and values through engagement in community networks, affiliations with other organizations and collaborative relationships with service providers and businesses in the broader community.
Success in responding to shifting consumer preferences, new reimbursement/payment models, increased demand and a dramatically changing, competitive landscape requires strategic planning. This involves understanding the organization’s core competencies, as well as external market opportunities and threats. Strategies are a roadmap to guide the organization in achieving its goals.

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