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Lexi Paza, Co-Director
24/Mar/2021

Our friends at the Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) recently published a report on COVID19 impacts on nonprofit real estate. The report is a part of NCG’s effort to understand and address nonprofit displacement in the San Francisco Bay Area and was done in partnership with Harder+Company Community Research. The Bay Area’s pandemic shelter-in-place order, issued almost exactly one year ago, was one of the first issued as well as the most stringent in the country. This makes the pandemic’s economic consequences on Bay Area nonprofits and their ability to sustain mission-enhancing workspaces particularly compelling.


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The CF Campus opened in January of 2019 as a shared space for community advancement in Tucson, Arizona. Our nonprofit campus spans more than 24,000 square feet across three buildings with a central courtyard. The CF Campus includes short-term private offices, long-term suites, drop-in work spaces, mailboxes, multiple conference rooms, common areas, and event spaces. CF Campus was created by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA)whose headquarters are located on the second floor. Along with CFSA, there are more than fifteen nonprofit organizations that rent office space or utilize mailbox services.


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Lexi Paza, Co-Director
10/Mar/2021

For those of us running a nonprofit center, the myriad daily decisions -- troubleshooting HVAC issues, managing tenant improvement projects, determining where to store all that hand sanitizer -- can seemingly occupy our whole brains. It’s easy to forget that we’re part of a movement: a movement of social purpose real estate. Social purpose real estate, or SPRE, is broadly defined as spaces that serve the common good such as public parks, affordable housing, libraries, museums, and, of course, community-serving workspaces, i.e., nonprofit centers. At NCN we’ve recently been refocusing ourselves on this movement.


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Lexi Paza, Co-Director
22/Feb/2021

Around every corner seems to be another opinion on the future of workspace. The sector is certainly ripe for speculation, given that commercial real estate continues to be one of the most impacted industries of the pandemic. As I've consumed article after article, some themes have emerged. First, many workers will choose not to (or cannot, because of transit or childcare) return to offices in dense urban cores, at least not every day and not anytime soon. This is mostly linked to shifts in priorities around affordability and quality of life, especially among workers 25 to 40. Companies that can employ a hybrid model wherein some employees work in the metropolitan headquarters while others are based out of smaller satellite offices in lower-density geographies -- but all with some work-from-home flexibility -- will likely do just that. Next, workspaces must prioritize human connection, physical health/safety, and shared values, three critically important elements of our 2020 experience, to attract workers who will now have a choice on where and when to work.  Buildings will need to offer dynamic meeting spaces that blend the physical and the digital alongside demised private spaces that provide a safe and quiet environment for focusing in ways that can rarely be achieved in most of our homes.  And, finally, a hope of my own: in an era when our collective social consciousness has grown in unimaginable ways and seemingly every company on the planet is regularly issuing statements about values, now is the time for our workplaces to also have a conscience.


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IFF’s mission is to strengthen nonprofits and the communities they serve by providing leadership, capital, and real estate solutions. We are a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income communities and people with disabilities. Key to our success has been a deep sense of purpose, a broad perspective, and a relentless focus on achieving positive results. Social return can coincide with financial return. We help clients from every sector, including human service agencies, health centers, schools, housing developers, and grocery stores. Our staff of more than 100 work from our Chicago headquarters, and we also serve the Midwest from six regional offices: Indianapolis, IN; Detroit, MI; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Columbus, OH; and Milwaukee, WI. IFF is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the largest nonprofit CDFI in the Midwest.


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Shared Spaces – A Center for Nonprofit Collaboration, owned and managed by the Mankato Area Foundation (MAF), opened its doors in 2015 with a full roster of long-term tenants. Located in the heart of City Center Mankato, Shared Spaces' goal is to raise the visibility and professionalism of the local sector. As a hub of nonprofit activity, our center is a space where organizations share resources, easily connect and interact with each other, and host volunteers and stakeholder meetings throughout our various conference rooms.


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Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being is a community action tank. Our mission is to build power to advance child well-being in the St. Louis region by strengthening alliances for child-friendly public policy, increasing citizen contact with policy makers, positioning youth and organizers to move systems and engaging faith communities in child advocacy. Deaconess Center on average hosts more than 15,000 child advocates, civic leaders and community organizers per year in more than 600 gatherings focused on children's policy. Meeting space is granted at no cost to groups and convenings focused on shifting public policy for children aligned with Deaconess’ vision and values.


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Elizabeth O'Brien
21/Sep/2020

At the beginning of last week, we came together for one of our Ask-NCN Live member-only calls to discuss pivoting during the pandemic.* We had quite a positive response and were energized by how many members took this opportunity to participate, learn from each other, and collaborate across the network. These past six months of the pandemic have been difficult in so many ways and at NCN, we are so impressed with the incredible resilience, creativity, and grace shown by our members during this time. It was inspiring to hear what innovative ideas different centers have used to address the unique needs and challenges of the pandemic, and how they think those innovative ideas could be used in the future. Here a few common challenges that have come up during this time, and a few tips about how to handle these challenges.


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The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) is committed to implementing imaginative, creative initiatives to achieve social equity and a balanced economic ecosystem. We work in the public trust to bring a human dimension to development improving the quality of life for residents, nonprofits, businesses, employees, and visitors. Our goal is to balance economic vibrancy, housing, and open space to create sustainable communities through new and revitalized development. We are an independent, agile public authority bringing a unique set of redevelopment tools to work in close partnership with the City of Cambridge and other organizations.


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We are a hub for accelerating collaborative action in Southeast Michigan’s nonprofit community. We have paired national best practice research with local insights and context to develop a nimble and coordinated approach to realizing impact in our region. Our space serves as a natural place for nonprofits to connect, share ideas and develop solutions together. We build authentic community through cultivated conversations and events designed to build trust, deepen relationships and set the stage for collective impact. But we are more than just a space. We source local wisdom to co-create programs and resources that meet nonprofits where they are.


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