Why Using the Term, ‘Non-Profit’ Doesn’t Do an Organization Justice

Q&A with CEO Beach Pace, Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest

-How does an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters benefit from the support that businesses are able to provide?

“First, many people refer to my sector as "Non-profit organizations (NPO's)" I prefer to call them Social Change Organizations (SCO's).  I don't like to explain the sector by what we don't do. I like to highlight what we do accomplish. For Example, Cale America's tagline is not, "We don't make sandwiches!"  The tagline is, "Stay Ahead" and you are doing that in the Parking Industry sector.”

“This brings me to the answer to your question. All SCO's benefit from business support because it helps us to accomplish our mission. We serve the community and it's truly a community effort to make sure the community gets what it needs.  This covers but is not limited to; people, housing, shelters, food, animals, etc. SCO's don't just request investment from one business, it's from several, making it a true team effort. Corporate foundations, family foundations, government funding and individual donors all make up the net of investment to support a community all via the work of Social Change Organizations.”

“I have had people push back on the concept of a social change organization. But that is what we do. At BBBS we support at-risk youth to find success in life through 1:1 professionally supported volunteer mentors. Success can take many forms; showing up to school, doing homework, understanding the importance of hard work, living ethically, graduating from high school, etc. Each time a BBBS mentee receives attention and advice from his/her mentor they are one step closer to achieving goals that many of us take for granted. When at risk youth find success, they also find confidence and pride. They find further education and jobs/careers. Mentorship breaks the cycle of poverty they are in. It breaks the cycle of teen pregnancy, high school dropouts and incarceration. These kids ultimately are able to give back to their community vs. be a burden.


-Of course, dollars are always welcome, but what is the value of volunteer time?  Is there a way to quantify the “value” of a Big?

“The value of a Big is priceless. Put a value on attending a kid’s basketball game, cheering them on and telling them "great job" after the game. Put a value on being there for a kid after his dad was incarcerated.  Put a value on helping them study before a big test.”

“The kids we have the honor to work with do not have a consistent and present adult in their life. Many of the parents (or grandparents) are single and working two jobs. They are often struggling to make ends meet. They also have the humility to realize that they are not cutting it and to come to BBBS to get help for their kid.”

“Think back to when you were a kid. Then think of every single time a person helped you, advised you, put an arm around you on a tough day, said to you "You can do it!" and now put a price on that. Impossible.”

“But let's try. On the low end, it costs $1,500 to make a match and support it for a year. This entails, recruitment of the Bigs, background checks, references, training, more training, vetting of the kids, vetting the parents or guardians. Doing the match meeting. Checking up on the match on a monthly basis for child safety and mentoring effectiveness, hosting match activities, etc.”

“The cost of a high school drop out over their lifespan is estimated at $235,680 in welfare payments, food stamps, criminal justice and medical care. Multiply that across the full 6.7 million cohort of dropouts nationally and the hit is nearly incomprehensible: $1.6 trillion.*”

“There is another piece that is often overlooked regarding value. The Bigs that mentor at risk youth learn about the situations the kids are in. They understand poverty and adversity at a more personal level and that increases empathy and brings communities together. Instead of "us and "them," it's now "we".”

“Furthermore, I have heard Bigs share that they got so much more out of the mentor relationship than they expected. They too grew as people and learned from their mentee. Many of our matches end up friends for life and their respective families are intertwined forever. These are connections that, again, bring communities tighter together.”




 -You lead BBBS in Portland, Cale America’s headquarters are in Clearwater.  Your thoughts on the cross-country support?  Do you interact with our local BBBS chapter at all?

“I will answer this is reverse order. Yes, I interact with Stephen (CEO of the Tampa BBBS chapter - great guy!) and many other BBBS affiliates to learn best practices. The ultimate goal is to stay connected and learn from one another so we can serve at risk kids to the very best of our ability.”

“Regarding cross-country support, we are in a global economy and that includes a global community. I remember growing up and hearing my parents talk about some kids who were skipping school and engaging in some nefarious activity. They would comment, "Oh those kids are no good!"  

“But now, "those kids" are our kids. We are all connected, more than ever, to the success of our local and global community both economically and socially. Regarding Cale, the city of Portland invests in your product and system and gratefully, you invest in Portland and the others cities where Cale operates.”

“Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a choice.  Companies do not have to engage in it or, if they do, they do so minimally. Cale has chosen to make deep, lasting and generational change in the cities you operate via the SCO's you support. This is a testament to your values and sense of connection to the communities in which you do business. You are a leader in this field and I commend you for it."

"Both Jeff and Ken and have been excellent ambassadors for Cale. I hope you are recognized for your efforts. Thank you for all you do."



For more information, contact Julianne Wilhelm, Marketing Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.CaleAmerica.com.

About Cale America:

Cale Group incorporates over 60 years of experience in the design and development of secure and innovative payment solutions for unattended parking and transit locations with cloud-based management applications. Headquartered in Kista, Sweden, the Cale Group has subsidiaries in ten countries and a network of partners in over 30 countries worldwide.Cale America Inc. was established in 2012 and is Cale’s largest subsidiary with systems installed in over 200 municipalities, campuses and privately-managed properties throughout the US, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.

Posted: 03 Jan 18
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