Lynn Frankenfield, Executive Director, Cleaning For A Reason

After her mother received her second cancer diagnosis, Lynn Frankenfield felt compelled to become involved in an organization that helps women with cancer. It was happenstance that she came across the opening for an executive director at Cleaning For A Reason, but now she’s been helping women in this role for five years. Frankenfield has worked in the nonprofit environment for more than 20 years in various leadership positions, including the executive director for the YMCA of Arlington.

Cleaning For A Reason provides free house cleaning to women undergoing cancer treatment. It exists to allow those brave women to focus on their health instead of cleaning the house.

“Our goal is to reduce the stress and ease the burden a woman and her family faces once she is diagnosed with cancer,” says Frankenfield.

What is it like working for a charity? How is it different than a typical business?

For the past 27 years, I have worked for nonprofit organizations; it’s a passion of mine. Once it’s in your blood, it becomes part of who you are — it’s all encompassing. Working for a nonprofit is not a job; it’s a calling to serve a greater purpose in life. Most people don’t realize that nonprofits are a business and follow the same guiding business principles and practices as for-profit businesses. One of the key differences is that we are continually striving for the resources needed to match the need of our mission. When we have fewer resources available, we become creative when we don’t have the support staff or financial means to accomplish our mission and goals.

Where does the funding for Cleaning for a Reason come from?

Funding is always a challenge, and it is especially challenging for us due to the broad geographic area we serve: the United States and Canada. Most of our donations are received from private funding sources. We are grateful for all of the donations we receive, and it is very exciting to be a part of BSCAI’s Annual Convention. Not only are they one of our sponsors, but they provide the platform to get in front of and educate building service contractors about who we are, what we do and how they might be able to get involved with Cleaning For A Reason.

What are the biggest challenges in working with a nonprofit?

In any company or organization, the challenges are similar but of a different size and scope. Our organization serves women throughout the United States and Canada out of one office. The entire Cleaning For A Reason staff team could fit in a SUV, yet since 2006, we have served over 22,000 women undergoing treatment for cancer receive the gift of a clean home. Our network of more than 1,200 professional cleaning partners donates its time to clean for these brave, strong women during one of the most difficult times in their lives. The value of the donated cleanings has exceeded
$6 million dollars.

Cancer has touched all of us at some point; it’s gender neutral, crosses all socioeconomic boundaries and doesn’t profile who will be next, which creates many challenges for our organization, such as:

• Finding ways to increase our capacity to serve;
• Creating awareness among professional cleaning companies;
• Educating the general public on who we are and what we do;
• Receiving funding.

What steps does Cleaning For A Reason take to get its name out there/become known?

We seek out available free media opportunities, attend conferences and network by word of mouth.

What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve received in your career?

It is incumbent to be transparent, fiscally responsible, good stewards of your donors’ money and always remember that, despite being a nonprofit, it’s still a business and must be run like a business. There is a lot of emotion that goes into leading a nonprofit and from the emotional side of the business, my husband Guy said, “If you can’t help every woman, at least celebrate the ones you have been able to help.”

What’s the best part about working with Cleaning For A Reason?

The opportunity to make a difference for women and their families who are challenged to find available resources when cancer impacts their lives. The relationships that I have developed with our patients and cleaning partners over the years, and the opportunity to volunteer my time to go out and clean for a local patient.

Fact: Since 2006, Cleaning For A Reason’s partner maid services have volunteered their time to clean for over 22,000 women — valued at over $6 million.

Fact: Cleaning For A Reason has recruited over 1,200 maid services to donate free house cleaning.

Fact: Cleaning For a Reason is celebrating its
10th anniversary this year.