retirement

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities

Retirement » Senior Living »Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities

The NORC business model
The NORC business model © Photo courtesy of Crestmoor Downs NORC program

All NORC programs have at minimum one paid staff member, but rely heavily on volunteers -- many of whom, crucially, are older adult participants. Most have community-based governance.

"There is a lead organization -- typically a social service provider -- and they use a relatively small amount of money to achieve big outcomes," Greenfield says. "They need to understand the community they are serving -- who are the big stakeholders, what are the gaps in services -- and do community outreach and partnership building. In a smaller municipality, the mayor's office might be a major stakeholder, or someone at the library dedicated to engaging and better serving older adults."

NORCs operate on a surprisingly small budget. "They are relatively inexpensive to mount," Huberman says. "Budgets run from $10,000-$664,000, but the median is $114,200. The reason is the heavy use of volunteers and lower staff burnout because they're dealing with a vibrant, successful model."

Huberman contends that more communities should seek to establish NORCs because of their comparatively low start-up cost. "A NORC will make a tremendous difference in the quality of your parents' and grandparents' lives," he says.

"Typically, they're funded by a mix of public and private resources -- government, private foundations, donors, property management groups," Greenfield says. "Some NORC programs charge membership fees, but they are minimal and account for less than 5 percent of the budget."

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
Find Senior Housing Near You

Let us help you compare

  • Pictures
  • Pricing
  • Options
Zip code or City, State

Get Help Now

advertisement
CD & INVESTING NEWSLETTER

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

Blog

Dr Don Taylor

When to take out a reverse mortgage

With retirement savings lacking, a reverse mortgage may help seniors delay receiving Social Security benefits.  ... Read more

advertisement

Senior Living Adviser

How do I earn money fast, easy?

Dear Senior Living Adviser, I'm a 63-year-old single woman who lost everything in the housing bust. I went bankrupt about 2 1/2 years ago and had to file early for Social Security benefits. I make $800 a month and I live...

View more Bankrate Advisers »

Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us