Tullio Orlando, CEO
Though there are stark differences between for-profit and non-profit ventures, some operational strategies can be shared and prove useful for both. Montage is a non-profit, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make money. Indeed, many successful non-profits do. Where we differ from corporate settings is that personal enrichment is permitted at for-profit companies, but not in our non-profit world. Salaries and other expenses affiliated with serving the public are, of course, exempt. Still, there’s no ownership of Montage, and no one personally makes money from the selling of its assets or products.
If personal enrichment isn’t an organizational motive, then what is? The answer: ‘public service.’ The organization uses its funds for activities serving the mission of our organization and associated costs of fulfilling the purpose. In our scenario, our goal is “delivering person-inspired services to people who require diverse supports.”
In the spirit of successful non-profits creating revenue streams, I want to introduce my 2020 Vision (and Beyond) for Montage’s Organizational Culture. The strategy is to make Montage a viable business entity. To succeed, we will borrow financial best practices and constructs from the corporate world and implement them to form a crucial foundation for our sustainability.
Customer service will be our guiding compass as we move forward on this bold initiative. The central factor in Montage’s sustainability will be customer service. As a civic-minded organization, we have a responsibility to our community, our funders, and donors to be successful and operate our services that are fiscally responsible and financially independent of donations.
This mindset, we can operate Montage as a lean business without making unnecessary public relations mistakes; our reputation must continue to be informed by word-of-mouth testimonials from families and caregivers who rely on our supports. To succeed, we will need to speak the same non-profit language, acting and talking like a business will cultivate winning approaches to collaborations with others.
Our second pillar will be revenue-generating support services that will form from the core of our work in residential care and community development efforts. As a non-profit business, we remain focused on delivering reliable, stable, and sustainable supports while exploring and nurturing new opportunities as they present themselves. We will have something of value the community needs, and this will drive our social enterprise projects in the future.
To prosper and flourish as an organization, we need to think and borrow from business models – identifying and responding to competition, adopting robust commerce standards while optimizing whatever prospects come our way. Again, where we differ from the for-profits is not just about the bottom line and creating income, it is more about producing more resources people need and can use so we can continue to invest in capacity-building.
Our third pillar will be partnerships with other like-minded organizations so we can build off of our strengths and address related areas needing improvements. Partnerships help share and avert expenses while each contributes to the cost-sharing in this new ‘ecosystem.’ Strategic alliances and partnerships make for good social business because we get to participate in building a more abundant resource network as well as provide and showcase our expertise for the benefit of the public.
To conclude, commencing January 2, my hope is for 2020 to be a banner year in Montage’s history. As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, I want us all to take ownership of our achievements and communicating this mindset to all staff. Their efforts will not go unnoticed; not participating as an integral component of this new ‘center of excellence’ is not an option if we want to succeed and survive whatever challenges the future presents us.
These pillars integrate into the central objectives of our present Strategic Plan:
- Expand social connection opportunities for the people we support.
- Improve communications between families, loved ones, and Montage staff.
- Undertake a critical review of and adapt our staffing model to improve quality and continuity of support.
- Develop partnerships within and beyond the developmental sector to leverage and augment Montage’s resources.
- Identify and implement viable cost-efficiencies and new revenue-generating streams.