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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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18/Apr/2022

NCN consultants recently travelled to a client (for the first time since pre-pandemic -yay!) to host an in-person community town hall with local residents and representatives from schools, government, agencies, and city/county libraries and tour potential locations for a human services center. Typically, NCN consulting around feasibility for a new nonprofit center involves a town hall for nonprofit leaders, but it was clear from initial conversations with the client that including this additional local voice would be critical to how a new facility would best serve local residents.


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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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15/Mar/2022

Last week we had our first NCN Regional Chapter Roundtables of 2022. These Regional Chapter Roundtables occur once a quarter, and I am really enjoying seeing each chapter build its own identity and community for peer learning and connection. I am always so impressed by the tricks of the trade and new things I learn from our members at these roundtables, and I wanted a way to bring these to all of our NCN community. So, after each quarter’s round of roundtables, I’ll be sharing 5 tips I heard from the regional chapters about nonprofit centers and social purpose real estate. So without further adieu, let’s see what I learned about this time!


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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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Lexi Paza Co-Director
21/Feb/2022

Most of us generally understand that humans must have their basic needs met before they can engage in meaningful personal growth. If someone is struggling with hunger or can’t pay rent, it’s unlikely that they can ponder self-determining their own future by knowing and then having what it takes to achieve their own goals. The same thing happens in our community-serving organizations. If a nonprofit struggles to meet its basic needs – think constantly chasing funding or stressing about clients’ needs outpacing organizational capacity – then talking about shaping its future feels impossible at worst but unlikely at best.


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