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A Master Case in Nonprofit Benefits and Human-Focused Leadership

What constitutes a modern, human-focused nonprofit leader in 2021? “Someone who understands struggles on a day-to-day basis, and someone who follows through,” says Darlene Bornacelli, HR Director of Westside Community Services in San Francisco, California. “Someone who ... really gives back to the community and understands what those needs are” — not just those at his or her organization alone.

Bornacelli herself stands out as one of the nonprofit community’s truly human-focused leaders today, extending critical benefits to employees at an organization that has been serving vulnerable adults and families in the San Francisco Bay area since 1967. Westside Community Services, which has fought for equitable access to healthcare within the community for years, continues to raise awareness for social justice and community care at this critical time in U.S. history.

“Unlike other organizations, we meet our clients where they are,” says Bornacelli. “Our mission is to really have clients engaged in their own services — they have a higher potential for success if they are in charge of their own treatment.”

Treating the “Whole Person,” in the Community and at Work

That ideology of putting the patient in charge of their mental and physical wellness extends to the community, but Bornacelli also offers that approach with her organizations’ employees. “We actually hire within the community,” she shares. “Representation is so important, so when you’re helping someone and treating the whole person, you want them to see themselves and feel comfortable.”

In addition to being heavily focused on her community, Bornacelli is also heavily focused on the success and well-being of Westside Community Services’ employees — an area where she has found Nonstop’s approach to health benefits plan design to be a true asset. “We are blessed because we are able to partner with Nonstop,” she says: “Nonstop [helps] nonprofit communities be able to offer the best benefits possible.”

As an organization whose salaries often don’t compete with many for-profit organizations in the area, the competitive benefits design made possible by Nonstop is the nonprofit’s competitive differentiator in terms of talent acquisition and retention. “Just being able to give them the tools they need to do their job makes me happy knowing they’re offering the same to someone else — helping the community and making a difference,” says Bornacelli.

Hear the Full Interview: Subscribe to the Benefits Like a Boss Podcast
Discover what makes Westside Community Services a leader in employee health benefits, and learn how you can transform benefits for the better in your own organization. Access and subscribe to Benefits Like a Boss now and hear from Darlene Bornacelli.

The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. This communication does not constitute a legal opinion and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended educational purpose.

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