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The swirl of opinions about the pandemic’s impact on the state of commercial real estate and how that intersects with the outlook on nonprofit centers continues. Some reports are that workers are already back in their offices at near pre-pandemic levels and have been for the better part of a year, at least in small and mid-sized cities. Another report out of San Francisco recently warned that the city’s status as a commercial real estate investor’s dream hasn’t yet found its post-COVID footing as office buildings are pulled off the market after fetching lower than expected bids. From NCN’s perspective, some NCN members report lingering vacancies, but our consulting pipeline is currently full of groups creating new nonprofit centers in their communities.


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The Alliance Center exists to bring people together to solve systemic problems. We are a mission-driven coworking space, event venue and nonprofit located in downtown Denver. Our 40,000 square foot LEED Platinum building is home to almost 40 organizations working to create a more sustainable and equitable world. In addition to our physical coworking space, we also formed the Regenerative Recovery Coalition, a cross-sector collaboration working to create shared prosperity on a healthy planet. Our 380+ members drive action by working directly with key decision makers, amplifying each other’s work and implementing regenerative projects.


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The Clearinghouse Project began in 2007 and now is a collaboration of over 100 Partners working to provide economic benefit to southeastern Indiana. The Clearinghouse is a multi-tenant facility where workforce development entities and agencies providing short-term assistance live and work under one roof. The goals of the Clearinghouse Partners are to help low-income families or families living in poverty make a positive, sustainable change in their lives and decrease their overall demand for assistance by enabling them to become self-sufficient.


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NCN recently hosted our summer Regional Chapter Roundtables across the US and Canada. Every time I attend these Roundtables, I'm reminded of the incredible impact our members have across North America. The incredible work our centers in operation and centers in development are doing, the incredible teams and tenants they serve, and the incredible solidarity and support they show their fellow NCN members by sharing ideas. In the spirit of sharing, below are a few of the great ideas for centers that we heard.


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Jackie Cefola (she/her) is a self-employed and intentionally part-time consultant who helps nonprofit leaders to start up shared spaces and shared back-office services. She provides research, planning, facilitation, and strategic guidance to move collaborative projects forward. She also serves as a neutral third party, gathering information, actively listening to partners, and suggesting strategies to address challenges.


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SketchPad is an intentional, collaborative, and innovative Jewish coworking space – the only such designated space in Chicago – bringing together a wide variety of diverse Jewish communal organizations and professionals. Our mission is to maximize the impact of our member organizations by fostering collaboration, innovation, and resource-sharing in a supportive and joyful environment.


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Pat Smith, Founder and CEO Serve Denton, Denton, TX NCN Steering Committee Member
18/Apr/2022

This month one of NCN’s Steering Committee members, Pat Smith, shared How to Help Nonprofits Own Efficiency and Effectiveness through Shared Services (link to blog). Pat reflects on why his center, Serve Denton, launched a shared services program in 2022. Serve Denton's mission is simple: partner with nonprofits to make their services more accessible to people in need. Over the years, they have seen many nonprofits doing their best but lacking the resources and expertise in marketing, financial management, development, and program evaluation. The overarching strategic goal at Serve Denton always been to grow capacity and help nonprofits operate with excellence–so stepping in to fill this expertise gap was a no-brainer. How did they achieve this goal?


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The Care Management Coalition of Western New York (CMC), is a group of 11 nonprofit agencies that co-locate to share resources and programming to meet the changing needs of families and the community we serve. The CMC’s mission is to collectively foster the wellbeing of families and children through strategic advocacy efforts and by improving quality, service, outcomes and capacity for its members.


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Celebrating its 35th year, Community Vision is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that works across California. As a locally invested, collaborative partner in social justice and financial equity, Community Vision provides nonprofits, small businesses and social enterprises with strategic investment, advising and support to advance community-based and led real estate projects.


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