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Exploring the Colocation Option with The Nonprofit Exchange

August 24, 2015 by Lara Jakubowski0

I was recently invited to join Todd Greer of Synervision Leadership Foundation on their podcast, The Nonprofit Exchange, to talk about why nonprofits share space with one another. You can watch the entire recording online or download it from iTunes.

With co-working spaces popping up in communities around the world, many small nonprofits are considering this model for their office space. As many members of our community know, this isn’t a new idea. Nonprofits have been co-working since before co-working was cool – we have centers in the Network that are over 50 years old!

One of the biggest benefits to nonprofit organizations that move into shared space is cost savings. By sharing space, nonprofits split the costs of common areas like kitchens, reception areas, and conference rooms that no one organization could use constantly. Additionally, many spaces have shared office equipment or other back office services for greater efficiencies.

Many nonprofit centers provide much more than affordable office space. More and more centers are organizing their tenant community around a common theme in order to create opportunities for organizations in the same field to work together for a greater impact. For example, in a human services center, one family can connect to supports for all of its members under one roof.

While shared space has many benefits, it isn’t the right fit for everyone. If your organization is considering joining a nonprofit center or a co-working space, you should get to know your new neighbors first. Make sure the culture of the building is a fit for your organization and that you can use the shared areas in ways that will meet your organization needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of shared space, download our publication Measuring Collaboration: The Benefits and Impacts of Nonprofit Centers and watch our website for the latest data from the 2015 State of the Shared Space Sector survey to be released later this year.


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About Our Blogger:

Lara Jakubowski

Lara is the Executive Director at the Nonprofit Centers Network and has worked with nonprofits and their real estate projects for 18 years. Most recently she was the principal in LWJ Consulting LLC, a consulting practice that focused on shared space, shared services, business planning, facility planning and fundraising. Since 2006 she has worked with over forty Metro Denver nonprofits to evaluate and grow their impact in the community.

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