Introduction to the Non – Profit Organization – Singapore’s National Kidney Foundation
Singapore’s National Kidney Foundation is a non for profit, charitable, organization which operates with the main purpose of helping people with kidney-related diseases or problems resolve their issues and educating the community in preventing such types of illnesses or diseases. More specifically, the foundation provides “dialysis treatment and rehabilitative care to kidney failure patients at affordable, subsidized rates: (‘About Us’, p. 1).
This foundation began its existence around in the early 1960s when Dr. Khoo Oon Teik realized that there was something very wrong in the surrounding environment and society that was causing kidney failures which, in turn, opened the door to more social suffering and problems. He struggled, along with some friends, until they established the first dialysis diagnoses unit in Singapore’s General Hospital and began the operations of the National Kidney Foundation. Officially it was “the late Encik Yusof Bin Ishak, the first President of the Republic of Singapore and patron of the NKF, who inaugurated the NKF on April 7, World Health Day” (‘Our History’, p. 1).
The 1970s and 1980s were the period of growth and difficulties for the foundation in terms of establishing itself, forming a public positive image, and gaining the necessary resources needed to operate. It was especially after the year 1990, until 2005, that this foundation became famous and until today it remains one of those charities with wide public recognition and a wide range of ongoing operations. In 2005, the foundation found itself in troubled waters and in a bad image situation from which it is still recovering.
Mission, Vision, and Strategy Objectives
The basic principles and philosophy behind this organization are to care for its patients “holistically, aiming to help patients maintain a reasonable quality of life” (‘Our Mission’, p. 2). As mentioned above, this foundation also provides “health-screening and public education services to raise the community’s awareness on the importance of renal disease prevention” (‘Our Services’, p. 1).
In terms of the vision, the National Kidney Foundation envisions itself as part of the community and with the moral obligation and duty to help improve society’s wellbeing and health. During these past five or so decades of its existence, the National Kidney Foundation has been working for the improvement of the health of the individual and society side by side with any other stakeholder. It intends to achieve this by offering help and subsidizing care to patients who cannot afford proper medical treatment for their kidney-related diseases. Another way of achieving its goals is by rehabilitating patients for them to achieve a better quality of life after they have received proper medical attention and treatment. A final objective would be to organize programs and educational programs that will help in preventing kidney-related diseases in the community (‘Vision and Strategy’, p. 2).
Strategic Analysis of the Non-Profit Organization
External Environment and PEST
The present situation around the world is full of perils and threats to health and individual wellbeing. Many governments and foundations have to deal with global health risks like the A-type influence, the SARS or bird flu, etc. Some other environmental features and perils have arisen during the past two decades.
The changing global temperatures and environmental settings have been influencing Singapore and the surrounding areas a lot. Also, the rising of the culture of malnutrition based on fast food has been challenging the health of the human body (‘Health situation and trend’, p. 1). All these external factors have been influencing the negative trend of rising kidney-related diseases and problems. Also, the rising financial turmoil of the past years has made it even more difficult for low-income families to afford proper health care treatment and post-treatment rehabilitation. Thus, the potential for the intervention of the National Kidney Association has been increasing rapidly, so as not to match the actual capabilities that this foundation has in place.
The political factors of Singapore make it easy for a foundation to operate. The political climate is very stable and politics and politicians have been directly involved in offering help to the national kidney foundation. For this, we just have to recall the fact mentioned above that the former President of the Republic of Singapore was the one who inaugurated the Foundation back in the 1970s. Also, not only have politics and politicians used their resources to fund various programs of the foundation but politics has played a major role in the attracting of various international donors for the organization.
The economic factors have also been good for Singapore during the last two decades of the twentieth century. The country has enjoyed steady economic growth and has benefited from a good fiscal and monetary policy (Gomer-Mejia, p. 455).
During this period the national kidney Foundation has also enjoyed a good period of donations. During this time the foundation initiated several programs which benefited the communities and stakeholders. This was mostly due to the benevolent donations and sponsoring made by the Singapore government by other international donators. Nevertheless, the economic situation in these last years has been changing dramatically. This is true not only for the country but on an international scale. This means that fewer and fewer possibilities for a donation from international donors have arisen during these years.
The social factors have also been benevolent for the National Kidney Foundation. It has managed to form positive brand recognition in the public for its work with the needy during the late 1980s and 1990s. Singaporean society also tends to value a lot the help toward the needy and charity in general (Wong, p. 4).
Finally, the technological factors have also been in favor of the foundation. During the past decades, there have been many technological improvements and innovations. This is certainly true for the field of medicine and healthcare. These innovations have been beneficial for the National Kidney Foundation in the sense that it has now the possibility of treatments that were previously unthinkable or at least considered to be very difficult.
Internal environment, 5-Forces, and value chain
The internal environment of the organization has been shaken considerably by the ‘earthquake’ of the 2005 scandal. Before that situation, the foundation was doing great. It had several opened and fully running programs and it had planned to enhance its capabilities.
It had “one of the world’s biggest non-commercial outreach dialysis chain and had the world’s largest per-capita sustained donation programs” (Lee, p. 1). It also had a long list of internal and international donors ready to sponsor its existing or new to be launched programs. The 2005 scandal changed everything and the internal situation for the company turned almost upside down. In fact, “before things went awfully wrong, the NKF was having an annual turnover of $116 million, all of which came from public donations” (Lee, p. 1). After the scandal, most of the donors pulled back and other ones that had previously shown interest in the foundation turned also away.
The main problem for the foundation was that the value chain of the organization was disrupted. The value chain of an organization acts as its backbone upon which all other elements and successes are built (Porter, p. 24). The chain of supply for the National Kidney Foundation begins with the work it does in gathering information for the public regarding the issues related to health problems, especially those related to kidney disease and dialyzes. The relationship with communities and with health-related institutions, like hospitals, is the basis of the supply for the National Kidney Foundation.
Its basic program relates to individuals who are about to take health treatment of their kidneys or that are on the rehabilitation phase after surgery or another health treatment of their kidneys.
After that its operations continue with the evaluation of the cases to be included in one of its programs. This is done by the Foundations staff which selects on which category/program should the patient be put. Another important chain of operations for the foundation is the educational programs to the community. These educational programs are entirely related to healthcare prevention methods, especially regarding health issues of kidney diseases prevention.
It will be interesting to see how the Foundation is doing in terms of the 5-Forces (Porter’s Five Forces) analysis. The threat of substitute products is not a big concern for this organization. The NFK is specialized in offering certain treatments to a focused group of people with kidney-related problems, like dialyzes. Few other organizations offer such products. In terms of competition and rivalry, the same arguments can be used for the threat of new products. Not many organizations offer the services or have the same mission and objectives as the NFK.
The threat of new entry is something the NFK should start worrying about. Due to the scandal of 2005 new foundations entering the scene could benefit from the retreat and bad image of the NFK. This argument is valid even for the bargaining power of suppliers and customers. The bad image formed by the 2005 scandal has pushed donators, local and international away from the operations and projects of the organization. It has also pushed away communities and individuals who now see the NFK with more reluctance than before.
A brief listing of strengths and weaknesses
The major strength of the company is the solid basis it has managed to form since it began in the 1970s. Another major strength is that NFK has managed to form a solid operational structure and experienced employees which are some of the best in their areas of operation.
The weaknesses are related entirely to the latest scandal and the public image formed by that. Decades of hard work on image and positive public recognition have been hit hard and the company needs to change strategy and some of its staff members to recover.
The Foundation must regain its positive brand name after the 2005 scandal. It should begin by adding more efforts to the formation of a public image that will make the incident to be forgotten. This can be done by increasing the efforts in community educational programs related to healthcare and disease prevention measures and lifestyles. The organization should continue with its core programs as it has done for decades but it should change the staff managing those programs. By attracting newly qualified managing staff with a good reputation in public the organization can manage to dissolve the ‘bad feelings’ formed among people due to the latest scandal. This would be the first stage of a new strategy.
A second one would be to install a new philosophy of operations management. This new philosophy should be implemented to make the staff feel and think that the Foundation is a charity-based one and not a for-profit business endeavor. Nevertheless, a new system of reward for those who work harder should be put in place to further motivate them in their work.
A third step of the strategy would be that alongside the new philosophy a new monitoring system should also be put in place. New ethical and values regulations are necessary, the breach of which may result in severe fines for any level of the Foundations staff. This, together with the increase in efforts to help the community improve its health, will surely attract donators again.
About us. 2010. The Singapore’s National Kidney Foundation. Web.
Health Situation and Trend, 2010. The World Health Organization. Web.
Lee, M. 2010. Jay Abraham Club Online. Web.
Our History. 2010. The Singapore’s National Kidney Foundation. Web.
Our vision. 2010. The Singapore’s National Kidney Foundation. Web.
Our Mission. 2010. The Singapore’s National Kidney Foundation. Web.
Porter, M. E. 1996. “What is strategy?” Harvard Business Review, November-December Issue, 61-78.
Press release, 2003. The health ministry of Singapore. Web.
Vision and strategy. 2010. The Singapore’s National Kidney Foundation. Web.
Wong, S. 2005 “Ex-NKF patron Mrs Goh Chok Tong regrets remarks about TT Durai’s pay: SM Goh”. Channel News Asia. Web.