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Welcome to the new members from the second half of 2022! As we officially move into the new year, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the rest of the new members that joined as NCN members in the second half of 2022. We are so excited to welcome the great organizations listed below to the vibrant, adaptive, and supportive community that our long-time members have created, and are thrilled to see the social purpose real estate movement continuing to grow.

Want to join NCN and become a new member too? Read more here or fill out this form to connect with our Membership & Events Coordinator for more information.


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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.


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14/Nov/2022

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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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.


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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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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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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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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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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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