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FAQ: Questions and Answers About the Kendal System

What is included in The Kendal System?

The Kendal System consists of 1) operating Kendal affiliate organizations (each of which is separately incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization); 2) a 501(c)(3) fundraising and grant-making organization that supports all Kendal entities (Kendal Charitable Funds); 3) an outreach function (Kendal Outreach LLC); 4) a research function (Kendal Research) and 5) a supporting organization (The Kendal Corporation*). All Kendal affiliates provide care and services for older people through a continuum of care. Many Kendal affiliates are continuing care retirement communities. The following organizations are Kendal affiliates:  in Pennsylvania, Kendal-Crosslands Communities in Kennett Square (Kendal at Longwood, Crosslands, Coniston, and Cartmel), Chandler Hall in Newtown, and Barclay Friends in West Chester; in New Hampshire, Kendal at Hanover; in Ohio, Kendal Northern Ohio (Kendal at Oberlin, Kendal at Home in Westlake, and Kendal Northern Ohio Community Outreach) and Kendal at Granville; in New York, Kendal at Ithaca and Kendal on Hudson in Sleepy Hollow; in Virginia, Kendal at Lexington; in Massachusetts, The Lathrop Communities in Northampton and Easthampton; and in Maryland, Collington.  The Admiral at the Lake in Chicago became an affiliate upon opening in summer 2012.Kendal Charitable Funds (KCF) exists to support The Kendal Corporation, the affiliates and Kendal Outreach, through fundraising, education, investment administration, and grants to affiliates. Increasingly, KCF performs planned giving services for individuals who wish to benefit any one of the System’s members. Its role is to engender a culture of generosity throughout The Kendal System.

What makes the structure of The Kendal System different from other multi-entity systems?

The Kendal System is based on a federal-style model. The relationship between The Kendal Corporation and the Kendal affiliates is interdependent and involves balancing autonomy with shared purpose. While each Kendal affiliate maintains an independence that fosters creative thinking, all are grounded in and guided by the values of The Kendal System.

How does The Kendal System measure its success?

While other organizations measure their success primarily by the bottom line, The Kendal System uses its Values and Practices as benchmarks for success. Values and Practices, first published in booklet form in 1987, were reissued in 2009 in a refined version.  The booklet spells out the principles of the Religious Society of Friends on which Kendal values are based, and describes practices that reflect experience gained over nearly 40 years, beginning with the earliest Kendal communities.

What is the role of The Kendal Corporation with respect to the Kendal affiliates?

The Kendal Corporation has responsibilities for leadership with respect to the affiliates and the System as a whole, though it is not a centralized authority.  The corporate role is designed to call attention to opportunities and challenges constructively, and with the expectation that the leadership of an affiliate will identify the solutions.  Corporate staff serve as facilitators, mentors, coaches, and advisers to Affiliate staff, rather than supervisors.  The role of The Kendal Corporation, therefore, is to enhance the performance of Kendal affiliates, not to intervene in ways that diminish their roles and responsibilities.  The Kendal System reflects a commitment to a participative and team-based culture.

What specific decision making authority does The Kendal Corporation have regarding the Kendal affiliates?

Affiliate boards of directors are responsible for the overall operations of their respective communities and services.  The Kendal Corporation board of directors is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the system as a whole.

*For New York affiliates, the supporting organization is Kendal New York, which functions in the same ways as The Kendal Corporation does in other states. Both Kendal New York and Kendal Corporation are 501(c)(3) organizations.