Join Our Newsletter | 
owntheirspace.png
Author image
26/Jun/2019

NCN’s Steering Committee Member Saul Ettlin, a real estate consultant for Community Vision in San Francisco, CA, was recently featured in Shelterforce Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue. His article “Buying Power: Why Nonprofits Should Own Their Own Space” highlights four important reasons that locally-based organizations should own a building where they work. Saul writes: Nonprofits, and the wide range of human, social, cultural, and artistic services they provide, can be critical to anchoring communities and stabilizing neighborhoods. When they’re invested in the place in which they’re located, nonprofits become important hubs that create opportunities for those they serve; they lift up voices, and build placed-based power. For these groups to be successful in meeting their missions, they must be resilient themselves.


costofspaceblog.png
Author image
28/May/2019

NCN works with clients in a variety of ways, including though coaching. Recently, I worked with a group who was developing a full cost budget for their space for the first time. When you’re doing this kind of work, you need a few concepts in your back pocket. What’s a full cost budget? That’s a budget that looks at the entire picture of an organization, not just a portion of it. It includes all of the unsexy overhead costs that we need to be effective, like liability insurance, cleaning, grounds maintenance, and more. All too often in the nonprofit sector, we only look at what it costs to run a particular program, and we ignore all the other costs that aren’t up front. One concept you need is the idea of direct costs vs. indirect costs. Direct costs are those expenses that you need to spend for a specific purpose. If you’re making a meal, the tomatoes, pasta, meat, and spices are your direct costs. However, your meal won’t be very flavorful if you dump them into a pot uncooked. You need a stove in a kitchen with running water. Not to mention plates and forks! All these other things should be accounted for as “indirect costs” because you need them for making all your meals, not just your delicious pasta.


infrastructure.jpg
Author image
11/Mar/2019

Infrastructure matters. It’s the tools and structures that magnify our productivity. Think about the speed at which you type an article on a computer versus writing it with pen and paper. In the for-profit world, the quality of your infrastructure impacts your ability to make money. Office spaces is worth investing in, because it helps your employees be more productive, legitimizes your presence, and encourages people to buy your products. Time intensive systems get automated or replaced, so a business owner can use their time in a way that maximizes revenue. Productivity is measured in ROI. In the nonprofit world, it is more complicated. Resources are limited, and its much more difficult to measure the impact of our work. It’s about how lives are impacted over years, not sales that take place in seconds. But just like in the for-profit world, systems can have an impact on the bottom line - the triple bottom line. How a nonprofit sets up its infrastructure (space, systems, employment practices, and more) can strengthen or weaken an organization’s impact on its mission.


trustandconnection.jpg
Author image
04/Feb/2019

I’m going to be bold and say that connectivity between organizations is more important in the nonprofit sector than in any other industry. Why? Because the issues we work on are so immensely complex. Whether you're working homelessness or hunger, arts education or workforce development, international poverty alleviation or climate change, the causes of human behavior are connected to something upstream.  Our work is difficult. Every day, nonprofit leaders advocate for issues, deal with trauma, and handle complicated funding streams. Human beings have a bias for the status quo, and especially when resources are limited, it’s hard to change behavior, even if we’re convinced it will pay dividends.  I remember working in a development team early in my career where I often sacrificed opportunities to network and build connections because it wasn’t part of our culture.


2018inreview.jpg
Author image
17/Dec/2018

December marks the end of the calendar year, and a time to pause and reflect on the months that have passed. Our team and community have so much to be proud of.  Speaking of our team – 2018 marks a new era for us. After a period of reimagining the role of The Nonprofit Centers Network in the social change landscape, our Steering Committee adopted a broader vision to become an international resource for shared space, shared services, and social purpose real estate. It is an honor to have been selected to move this work forward, as the new Executive Director. Bigger dreams need a bigger team, and I am so happy that Jackie and Chelsea are here to stay. (You can read their bios by visiting are who we are page). NCN members have been front of mind for us through all this change. Leena has shepherded the creation of new member benefits, like the ASK-NCN LIVE series, which has seen over sixty members participate in four videochats, so far. The knowledge, perspective, and funny stories that are shared in these sessions aren’t to be missed! 


moveinday.jpg
Author image
11/Sep/2018

Moving. You either love it or hate it. In the nonprofit world, it can mean a ton of hassle, and lengthy disruptions. I knew someone who had moved her organizations three times in two years due to changing lease terms, and she never wanted to go through that again. A huge benefit to sharing space with other organizations is that there is someone to show you the way. The wi-fi and copier are already set up. Whether you own a large multi-tenant shared space or you are just renting out a corner of your office to a partner organization, here are a few things to think about.


CApacity-for-change.jpg
Author image
30/Apr/2018

We are reviewing proposals for Sharing Innovation, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what innovation means to us at The Nonprofit Centers Network.  The dictionary definition of the word “Innovate” is to “make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.” Sharing resources is an innovation in and of itself. For so long, we have been told that success looks like a nonprofit with a large staff, a building, and a strong back office. However, based on our recent research, many nonprofits don’t need that degree of capacity.  Efficiency and effectiveness is about having the right tools for the job when you need them.


RAC-exterior-002.jpg
Author image
19/Feb/2018

The Rose Andom Center opened the summer of 2016, as the first Family Justice Center in the Rocky Mountain region, with a mission to improve the lives of domestic violence victims by facilitating better access to the services and staff of community organizations and government agencies in a single, safe location. The Rose Andom Center is named in honor of successful Denver entrepreneur and former McDonald’s franchise owner, Rose Andom.

The innovative model of the Rose Andom Center brings together 7 city and 13 community-based organizations in one building, representing the forward-thinking, collaborative approach to provide ‘best practice’ services to some of our most vulnerable citizens. The staff of partner organizations provide a wide array of services, including domestic violence advocacy and counseling, crisis intervention, civil legal support, services for children, law enforcement services, information regarding the criminal justice system, assistance with public benefits, housing resources, and referrals for job readiness and job search assistance.

What is one interesting fact about your space?

In 2017, the Rose Andom Center was honored to receive a Downtown Denver Partnership Award, given to businesses that have made significant contributions toward creating a unique, vibrant, and diverse Downtown environment, and have left a lasting, positive impact on Downtown Denver. Since opening, we have had over 3,300 victims and 900 children come into the Rose Andom Center to access multiple services from our partner agencies. The building underwent a comprehensive renovation to provide a warm, welcoming, safe environment for the clients and to promote collaborative work among the partners. A centralized “nest” area provides comfortable interview rooms for private conversations with clients, as well as an open great room and kitchen for their use, and a playroom for the children to enjoy while their parent meets with service providers. The playroom includes a custom wall-sized Light Bright Wall, enjoyed by all who visit the Rose Andom Center!

What are your favorite resources that you would recommend to others?

Working with the Nonprofit Centers Network, Denver Shared Spaces and Oz Architects helped ensure we could think through our goals in developing the best shared space possible, that would meet our mission and be of benefit to our clients!

Center Name: Rose Andom Center

Location: Denver, CO

Center Website: www.roseandomcenter.org

Get Social with The Hive:  Facebook    Twitter

 


Rentnonprofit.jpg
Author image
05/Feb/2018

For most nonprofits, office space is the second largest expense, after personnel costs. Most of the time we make do with what we can get our hands on – working out of our living rooms or a donated church basement. Too often, we let our office space work against us instead of for us!

You may be fighting your office instead of fighting for your cause if in the past year, you have

  • Had to reschedule a meeting with a community member to deal with a flood in your program space
  • Wrapped up in blankets to stay warm since your furnace couldn’t keep up while typing up your latest appeal letter.
  • Spent time shoveling the walk instead of filing grant reports
  • Lost connection to the internet and your cloud-based file storage because of old wiring

I challenge you to keep track of how much time you spend fighting with your office the next week. I think you’ll be surprised. You can also take it a step further and multiply that by your hourly salary to figure out how much your space costs your organization each week. If time is money, your board may be interested to see how much your “free” or “cheap” office space really costs.

What should you be paying for office space anyway? (Here’s a clue: the answer isn’t $0.) For a quick estimate, do this math: multiply 250 sq. ft. per person times the per square foot lease rate for Class B office space. You can find the average per square foot by searching for real estate market reports in your region (typically made public by major real estate firms like CBRE or Cushman Wakefield). For example, since NCN has two staff in Denver, we should be paying $11,595 per year. (Depending on the local custom, you might be given the square footage cost by the month, so pay attention and adjust accordingly.) You’ll still need to budget for utilities, internet, cleaning, security, etc., and more.

Sharing space allows us to achieve several thousand dollars in cost savings every year – not to mention the time of managing the internet, cleaning the office, keeping the printer up and running, and more! Think you might be up for running a shared space? Check out Virtual Nonprofit Centers Boot Camp today!


OverwhelmBlog.jpg
Author image
18/Dec/2017

I’ve had several conversations with new NCN members just starting the process to see if a nonprofit center is the right thing for their community. People talking this project for the first time are some of my favorites to work with – the energy, the inspiration, the passion. Inevitably, at some point excitement transitions to overwhelmed, as leaders struggle to balance their vision with the growing workload. That’s where we come in! Because how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! We’ve helped so many people break down their shared space project into manageable chunks, making their dream a reality.  Here are my top tips for managing this process: Write down your why: Whether it’s an official statement of purpose or just the top three reasons you want to see a shared space in your community, this is your guiding principle as you go through this project. Form follows function throughout this process.


Nonprofit Centers Network

1536 Wynkoop Street, Suite 103
Denver, CO 80202

info@nonprofitcenters.org
720.836.1189

The Nonprofit Centers Network is a project of
TSNE MissionWorks

Copyright The Nonprofit Centers Network 2016-2019. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy | Site Requirements | HTML Sitemap | XML Sitemap