Still wondering if non-profit is better?

Once upon a time, all social care belonged to community-based non-profits and charitable organizations, which invented social services as a means of helping citizens in need. Take a look at this Feb. 4 news release from the Office of the Seniors Advocate in BC to remind yourself why non-profits remain the absolute gold standard for doing this vital work.

Our governments happily began to embrace the funding of social care services over the past 50 years, and now fund more of it than ever. But as government funding began to materialize, so did for-profit interests who saw an opportunity to move into social care and make a profit on the work.

Some wonder if it really matters whether it’s a non-profit or a for-profit provider delivering services. Isobel Mackenzie’s report “A Billion Reasons to Care” clarifies this once and for all: Yes, it matters, because non-profits are driven by passion for the work and the people they serve, and that fact reveals itself in how they manage their funding.

When the Office of the Seniors Advocate looked at contracted long-term care services for seniors and compared how for-profit and non-profit services differed, this is what she found:

  • Care homes in the not-for profit sector spent 59% of revenues on direct care versus 49% in the for-profit sector
  • Not-for-profit care homes spent 9% of revenue on building expenses versus 20% in the for-profit sector
  • For-profit care homes generated 12 times the amount of profit generated in the not-for-profit sector, $34.4 million versus $2.8 million
  • Not-for-profit care homes spend $10,000 or 24% more per year on care for each resident
  • For-profit care homes failed to deliver 207,000 funded direct care hours
  • Not-for-profit care homes exceeded direct care hour targets by delivering an additional 80,000 hours of direct care beyond what they were publicly funded to deliver

Board Voice is committed to pushing back hard against the intrusion of for-profit companies in social care. Join us! #nonprofitsdoitbetter