Source 3: Corporate Elder Care - An Expert View
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Source 3: Corporate Elder Care - An Expert View

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Securing funding from corporate elder care programs has been a hard nut to crack for the aging network. Over the last 15 years, a few nonprofits have secured contracts with businesses, but they have succeeded in generating only a minimal amount of revenue.

What are the opportunities? We interviewed John Paul Marosy, founder and president of Bringing Elder Care Home and author of Elder Care: A Six Step Guide to Balancing Work and Family and A Manager's Guide to Elder Care and Work.

NCOA: Is there an example of a successful corporate elder care program that has weathered the recession and is still operational?

Marosy: There is Elder Life Planning Options (ELPO). It is a terrific turnkey opportunity that allows local aging agencies to brand themselves, while tapping into a national consultation referral telephone service and elder care resources such as tip sheets and a content-rich website. ELPO provides a customized telephone line for each local agency. The local agency is responsible for the marketing and sales to businesses in their community and for service delivery, depending upon what is negotiated.

NCOA: How does the local nonprofit agency make money?

Marosy: The local agency receives a fixed monthly fee per employee, and a certain amount goes back to ELPO. I found that there is a sufficient amount for the agency to not only cover its costs, but to make a profit. The beauty of it is that as the number of employees goes up, the nonprofit agency’s expense to ELPO goes down. Agencies can price services at what the market will bear locally, so actually an agency is making more money as they increase the volume, and their margins improve. It becomes a significant revenue stream when an agency starts to pick up two, three, four, or five of those firms that have a couple thousand employees.

NCOA:   Why is the ELPO model successful and others have failed? 

Marosy: ELPO provides an opportunity for a local agency to offer a service that is really competitive in the marketplace, but can make them some money, too. I’ve looked around at various models, and this one is the best option out there. Everything else is like clipping, pasting, and inventing your own little thing locally, and it just doesn’t have the impact nor the profit margin needed to make it worthwhile for an agency to get involved.

NCOA: Have you any advice for agencies that want to get involved in corporate elder care services?

Marosy: These are my suggestions:

  • Do your research, target well, and have some exploratory conversations.
    Fortune 500 companies probably have contracts with large work/life balance firms. There are large and medium-sized companies that are not Fortune 500 but have a couple thousand employees. Many haven’t yet added elder care benefits to their package, but have an above average aging workforce. Utility companies or health care providers are good examples.

  • Make sure you have the full commitment of the leadership of your organization.
    There’s no use in having a middle manager or social service department director spending a lot of time and energy on a corporate elder care services if it’s not a priority for the executive director or the board.

  • Don’t go into this with fuzzy thinking or fuzzy goals.
    If your goal is to generate a significant revenue stream, this will help you sort out a lot of things you shouldn’t do.

NCOA: Some large work/life companies have subcontracted some of their services to nonprofit agencies. Are there any opportunities there?

Marosy: What I’ve found is that those opportunities are very limited. They might take the form of offering seminars and that kind of thing, but I don’t see that generating a significant revenue stream.

I

want to live in a country where

older adults don't have to choose between paying for medicine or food.

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