Space Wanted: 4 Tips to Guide your Nonprofit Search for Affordable Office Space
One of the most common questions I get asked by nonprofits is “Where do I look for affordable office space for my nonprofit?” Whether there is a nonprofit center in your community or not, here are a few of my recommendations.
- Look for a nonprofit center in your community. With over 400 existing shared spaces across North America, there may be a center in your area with an opening. You can see all of the spaces we know of on our nonprofit center map here: http://www.nonprofitcenters.org/nonprofit-centers/
- Reach out to your local community foundation or United Way. Often they may know of community partners with excess space or that are in the process or creating new facilities.
- Check with your local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Specializing in helping nonprofits access capital resources, CDFI’s can be brought in to help nonprofits secure loans for new facilities, and they may know of new opportunities in your community. Opportunity Finance Network can help you find your local lender.
- Reach out to a broker that has worked with nonprofit clients. Although brokers work on commission, they may have clients that are looking to fill properties that have been on the market for a while. Often these spaces are not in ideal locations or may have some challenges around layout or quality, but they can be an affordable option.
When you are searching for affordable office space, don’t forget to do your research. If you are informed about local market rates for space, you’ll be better positioned to negotiate. We also often over estimate the amount of square footage we need for our operations, so really think through how much you will be in the office and how much storage you need. With time, you’ll find the right fit for your organization.