5 tips from NCN Winter Regional Chapter Roundtables: 1. Try a collaborative internship program Have you ever heard of a shared internship? One center was able to get a grant to pay interns for an amazing internship program focused on their center theme. Among other benefits, the interns spoke about the value of being able to learn from several different nonprofits, since they can work with various tenants, which makes it unique to other internships opportunities they had.
As we transition into fall, NCN members at our recent fall Regional Chapter Roundtables shared changes that are happening not only with the season, but also changes with their centers and their organizations. In the fall, the chapters focused mostly on the topic of finance, and it’s always nice to hear of new innovations and ideas as we continue this important work. Below are a few innovations that we wanted to highlight for this season:
5 tips from NCN Fall Regional Chapter Roundtables:
1. Consider new ways to meet conference room and meeting space demand
Meeting and conference space demand seems to be rising across the board. Some members asked: “How can that be a source of revenue? Are there meeting room memberships or other models that make sense?”
2. Take a sabbatical
Mission driven work is critical for our communities, but it’s important to give ourselves and our teams time to recharge. One member shared their policy of encouraged staff sabbaticals, and after hearing about their amazing trip, we hope all centers can implement a similar policy!
3. Build in rising utility costs
We heard that utility costs seem to be rising for centers, especially in certain regions. Whether you have a standard % increase annually, or true-up at the end of the year, you might consider how to build that in to your budget more carefully this year.
4. Evaluate tenant participation
We all know that tenants add a lot more to centers than their financial contribution. If tenants are paying rent, but aren’t coming into the office, are they taking the place of other organizations who might contribute more to the vibrancy of the center? Some centers are starting to have these conversations to think of creative ways to reevaluate tenant contributions and participation.
5. Build trust with two-sided transparency and financials
One member suggested that as a landlord, they have build trust with tenants and have a stronger reciprocal relationship by being more open with their financials and by having two-sided transparency.