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Data Doesn’t Lie: Three BIG Ways Nonprofit Centers Are Impacting the Sector

November 6, 2017 by Chelsea Donohoe0

Does shared space really matter? The data doesn’t lie!  The following facts draw from the 2015 State of the Shared Space Sector Survey. If you want more, you can download the report.

So that we’re all on the same page, here is how NCN describes a “typical” nonprofit center: 35,000 sq ft facility, 250 people served weekly and $488,000 in revenue. These centers also have around 12 tenant organizations and 70 total employees. With that in mind, an overwhelming majority of organizations surveyed say they have improved services, seen significant cost savings, and can better achieve goals now that they are part of a shared space. Here are the biggest ways we found nonprofits are benefitting from this kind of collaboration.

  1. Save Money

According to the survey, each tenant in a typical shared space saves $25,000 per year. Yes, you read that correctly – $25,000 PER YEAR. I want to shout it from the rooftops! … And remember, that’s just on average. Many organizations are seeing even more in annual savings. In addition, 75% saw costs not only decrease, but eventually stabilize allowing for more accurate budgeting. Imagine the amazing things your organization could add to your current strategic plans if you didn’t feel like you were blindly predicting your financial future. More than half of organizations also now have stronger revenues.

  1. Serve Better

Our data also shows organizations see improved services as shared space tenants. 74% reported being able to offer higher quality of services to their current community. With more money coming in, this isn’t surprising. However, many organizations have seen a significant increase in overall capacity. More than 60% of shared space tenants now have larger program scope and size. This shows collaboration leads to more efficient and effective organizations that can come closer to fulfilling their missions.

  1. Accomplish More

A game-changing 82% of organizations told us they are better able to achieve goals and have more credibility. Nonprofit centers are bringing more professionalism to the sector, and this can positively affect everything from employee morale to funding opportunities. Shared space also gives organizations the opportunity to improve their communities in indirect ways. More than 60% have seen nearby property development and more new businesses in their area. This means mission-driven shared spaces are changing lives and neighborhoods for the better.

As a major part of social purpose real estate, nonprofit centers are allowing organizations to take advantage of opportunities they would otherwise not have to serve the common good. It is information like these survey results that excites us at NCN to continue advancing shared space forward. If you’d like to see the survey for yourself, check out the link above. Do you think we should do more of this innovative research in 2018? How could we improve it? Let us know!

About Our Blogger:

Chelsea Donohoe

Chelsea Donohoe is currently a Resource Development intern at NCN and graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at University of Colorado Denver. She also serves as the Marketing Liaison for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Denver’s Fund Development Committee and coaches Special Olympics gymnastics. Before making the switch over to the nonprofit sector, Chelsea worked in broadcast journalism and online marketing.


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