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As Atlanta's premier gathering space for the LGBTQ community since 2008, The Rush Center provides a sense of "home" and offers connections to resources throughout the state. The sign on the building lets people outside know that we're always here, and the open door acts as a reminder to our community that we're exactly that: a community. Over 100 hundred organizations use the center each year for board meetings and events, and almost twenty of those groups have permanent office space. Visit on any given day, and you may encounter discussion panels, trainings, support groups or calls for political advocacy.


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Jackie Cefola Director, Consulting and Shared Services
14/Jan/2019

Way back in 2010, I was fortunate to be part of an amazing team with NCN founder China Brotsky, former-Executive Director Roxanne Hanson, and former staff member Tuan Ngo. Together, we co-wrote NCN’s Guide to Shared Services. Our intention was to support NCN member organizations’ interests in collaborative access to back-office job functions, what we termed “shared services.” Our opening lines of the Guide read, “Nonprofit organizations face challenging times. Volatile financial markets are impacting funding opportunities while the demand for services as well as operating expenses are increasing. For the majority of nonprofit organizations with already limited resources these challenges indicate a need for a new paradigm.” Sound familiar? While many things have changed in the past 9 years, pressures are still driving organizations to conserve precious resources and explore collaborative strategies. As a result, many organizations are considering the potential to share back-office services.


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08/Jan/2019

what should be the ideal amount for a Building Reserve Fund? They charge $1 per square foot back to their tenants to contribute to this fund, but wondered if they should cease doing that if they reached a certain number in their reserves? This generated multiple responses on how to be financially prepared if, or really when, issues arise – because they will! So, whether you own your own building or are planning to purchase/build one, read on to see how those in our network are thinking ahead.


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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! 


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Jackie Cefola
27/Nov/2018

What overhead services are easiest to share? How do organizations decide to offer fiscal sponsorship? Is it necessary to survey potential customers before offering shared services? Earlier in November, 21 Nonprofit Centers Network members discussed these questions and more during the Ask-NCN Live video call focusing on shared administrative services. We periodically host Ask-NCN Live video calls to strengthen connection and sharing among our members. Participating members submit their questions in advance allowing the NCN team to identify key points of interest. During the video call, NCN facilitators gently guide the conversation to ensure that participants can ask their questions and receive answers directly from other members.


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Karen Derrick-Davis
06/Nov/2018

In a shared space setting, organizations are rethinking the way they manage and share resources. Though not always easy, the payoff can make the challenges worth it. Building a timebank within a shared space is another way to leverage the relationships and provide a framework and platform for sharing skills through the currency of time—time credits. In a timebank, members earn and spend time credits by providing services and accessing services. An time credit earned or spent in the timebank is always worth one hour, no matter what the service. All services are valued equally. Timebanks are redefining work and tapping a limitless resource: time.


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The Alliance Center is a multi-faceted nonprofit with an event and collaborative working space. We convene and mobilize our network of nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, government agencies, academic institutions and community members to collaboratively create sustainability-focused solutions. Our building, built in 1908 and retrofitted in 2014 to be one of the greenest buildings in Denver, is home to our amazing 50 mission-aligned tenant organizations. By serving as the hub of sustainability, our tenants are able to connect, collaborate and scale up their impact toward our common goal of a sustainable future for all.


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Lexi Paza and Nada Zohdy
10/Oct/2018

The number of commercial coworking spaces is rapidly growing across North America. These for-profit shared spaces achieve growth via a traditional and straightforward revenue model: acquire more space, serve more tenants. Yet how can and should nonprofit centers think differently about growth? At the Sharing Innovation annual NCN gathering in just a few weeks, we are both excited to share how our organizations – Tides in San Francisco and Open Gov Hub in Washington, D.C. – are each scaling their impact in a unique way, without adding more real estate. We will share our top takeaways (like how to lead with your values and leverage intangible assets), and how you can help your own center grow creatively. First, let’s start with the big elephant in the room: the meteoric rise of for-profit collaborative workspaces – an industry that is projected to grow 16% in the next five years. In Washington, D.C. this year alone, eight new commercial coworking companies have opened even though the field was already crowded with over 70 existing corporate shared spaces. WeWork, the leader in the sector, is now valued at $20 billion and promises members the opportunity to “become part of a greater ‘we’”. And WeWork isn’t alone in selling community as a key service/benefit (accessible to members as soon as they hit the “purchase” button on their membership payment). Most commercial coworking spaces seem to emphasize this as a key part of their branding. So, as operators of nonprofit centers, should we be worried about the extraordinary growth of the commercial equivalents of our shared spaces?


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Family Services has been making a difference in people’s lives for over 135 years. Since the beginning, we have sought to meet the changing needs of individuals and families in our community. Over time, our organization has evolved to include more than micro-level casework practice and now helps to shape policy, enhance systems and services, and improve the quality of community life, while still maintaining the direct services that support our neighbors. Family Services provides programs and services throughout the Hudson Valley including: Youth Services, Family Programs, Victim Services, Prevention, Community Safety and the Family Partnership Center—all geared to provide hope, improve lives and strengthen community.


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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.


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