Pros and Cons of Nonprofit and For-profit Senior Communities - Philadelphia Protestant Home
Independent Living Phone: 215-697-8086 Personal Care Phone: 215-697-8031 Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Phone: 215-697-8005
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Pros and Cons of Nonprofit and For-profit Senior Communities

Posted on: May 27, 2020

When you’re shopping for a senior living community, one thing that might not be immediately obvious is the community’s financial status. Is it a for-profit or nonprofit community?

According to the dictionary, “for-profit” is a business “initiated or operated for the purpose of making a profit,” while “nonprofit” is a business “not established for the purpose of making a profit, not entered into for money.”

Those are simple distinctions, but they can make a significant impact on your experience at a senior living community. Let’s break down the potential differences a little more.

Financial accountability

For-profit communities are accountable to their shareholders, and there’s a focus on the bottom line. Their goal is to take profits and reinvest them into making more money. Nonprofits are grounded in a mission that puts residents first. Their goal is to reinvest profits into the community and services that will benefit the people who live there.

Quality of services

According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, for-profit senior living communities tend to have poorer quality of care in general compared to nonprofit communities when it comes to factors like staffing, quality scores and inspection ratings.


The mission of a community defines its purpose. As a nonprofit, and guided by Christian values, the mission of The Philadelphia Protestant Home (PPH) is to provide a caring senior living community that affords its residents the opportunity to achieve their highest-possible quality of life. The focus is on customer service, NOT profit. As you’re looking for a new place to call home for the next chapter of your life, be sure to consider each community’s mission and whether it is more focused on profits or on people.

Lifetime peace of mind

Another consideration when deciding between nonprofit and for-profit communities is your security as the years go on. As a nonprofit, PPH offers a program called Benevolent Care, which is supported by its annual gala and other fundraising efforts. This means that the community raises donations to make sure that, should residents’ resources be depleted through no fault of their own, they will still be able to continue to live at PPH. In contrast, at some communities, residents are asked to leave if they run out of funds.

Of course, there are for-profits that provide good service, and there can be poorly run nonprofits as well. “For-profit vs. nonprofit” is just one more element to consider when you’re weighing your options and deciding which community you will ultimately choose.

At PPH, we are happy to tell you more about how our nonprofit mission will impact your overall experience at our community. To learn more, call us at 215-697-8000 or click here to watch our Virtual Information Series, a series of informative videos about life at PPH.

What Residents Say

"In my nine years at PPH, I’ve grown to like it very much. At first, I felt like a stranger and then as I began to talk to people, we increasingly became good friends. A way to meet people is to join clubs. I’m now part of the PPH Auxiliary. I love helping with their flea markets because you never know what you can find. Recently, I’ve joined an evening quilting class. I love that I can continue to enjoy my life outside of PPH while experiencing the offers here.…especially the pool! Everything is just so convenient.

– Lucille Hite, Independent Living resident

What Families Say

"My mom is sooo happy at PPH, I can’t even describe it in strong enough words. She’s met so many new friends and these ladies do EVERYTHING together! She sees Dad every day in Pathways, but can have her life too. She’s gone to so many activities and I think I’ve already been to Scoops with her at least 15 times. She loves the dining room and Bistro too. My sister, Ilene, and I are so delighted that Mom is happy.......Wow, it feels like Mom’s been there about 2 years—but it’s only 2 months!! That’s how comfortable and natural it feels for her – and for all of us.

– Rhonda Frenkel, daughter of resident Bernice Segal

Philadelphia Protestant Home