In 2006, AARP was one of the largest, best-known non-profit organizations in the United States. Its membership exceeded 38 million people, by far the largest nonprofit membership organization in the country. In recent years, it had large federal legislation on issues such as Medicare, Social Security, and pension reform through a coordinated effort of professional lobbyists and grassroots volunteers, numbering nearly one million affected. In addition, AARP Services Inc., the orga … Read more »

In 2006, AARP was one of the largest, best-known non-profit organizations in the United States. Its membership exceeded 38 million people, by far the largest nonprofit membership organization in the country. In recent years, it had large federal legislation on issues such as Medicare, Social Security, and pension reform through a coordinated effort of professional lobbyists and grassroots volunteers, numbering nearly one million affected. In addition, AARP Services Inc., the organization wholly owned, taxable (earned income activities) subsidiary manages relationships with AARP supports companies that generated over 500 million dollars in licensing fees from health insurance, life insurance, mutual funds and other products – which is one of the largest social companies in the country. With activities in the commercial, charitable and political arenas, AARP had adopted a truly cross-sectoral approach to achieving its mission of “improving the quality of life for all as we age.” Despite its size, influence and visibility, AARP felt the public does not fully appreciate or understand the organization. Given the growing public interest and media fascination with the application of business practices and market principles in the social sector – under the rubric of social entrepreneurship – AARP relatively little attention from journalists, thinkers and scientists for its entrepreneurial approach. The organization also faced a public relations challenge the fundamental principles of its cross-sector model. Without countermeasures AARP knew that such claims, regardless of their validity could, its ability to achieve its long-term goals to undermine. The organization also faced the challenges of competition and the increasing problem of internal collaboration and synergies across the organization to improve their competitiveness and lead their social impact and member value agendas.
«Hide

from
James Phills,
Brian Tayan
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business
23 pages.
Publication Date: Aug 12, 2007. Prod #: SI91-PDF-ENG
AARP and AARP Services, A Multi-Sector Approach to Social Change HBR case solution