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From an Ask-NCN Discussion, 5/11/16


Katie Edwards, The Nonprofit Centers Network
We’ve gotten a request for more information about how centers collect fees on late rent payments.

1. Can you share your clause from your lease or license about late fees?
2. How much do you charge? Is it a flat fee or a percentage of rent?

Please share any insight you have into this process!


Alan Ziter, The NTC Foundation
See the clause below from our Lease Agreement that outlines Late Fees for late rent payment. We encourage any Resident Group that may need to pay late to notify us in advance regarding the circumstances as we want to work with them to stay current. This is more for those that casually or habitually pay late without notification.


“Late Charge: With the exception of Real Property Taxes paid as Additional Rent which carries a higher late charge pursuant to Section 13, if any payment due hereunder is not received by the 5th day after the date the payment is due, a late charge in the amount of 5% of the payment amount shall be charged to, and payable by, Resident Group.”


Nada Zohdy, OpenGov Hub
Our rent is due from tenant members on the first of the month but we always offer a one week grace period of them to get payments in. After that time a late fee takes effect, which is always 10% of the total amount due.


This is the stock language in our licensing agreements:
“Licensee shall pay all fees to Licensor on April 1, 2016, and by the first of each month thereafter. Licensor will offer a one-week grace period each month to collect license fees. If Licensee fails to make any payment of the License Fee by the seventh day of each month (after the one week grace period ends), then Licensee shall pay Licensor a late charge of ten percent (10%) of the amount of such payment.”


Pam Mauk, Together Center
Our clause says the following, and I don’t think in 26 years we have used it, although we have mentioned it a time or two.


4.3 Late Charge. If any installment of rent is not paid within ten (10) days of the due date, a late charge of five percent (5%) of the rents owed with a minimum of fifty dollars ($50) shall be added as additional rent. In the event that any installment of rent or any late charge is not paid in full on or before the thirtieth (30th) day of the month, interest on the unpaid amounts shall begin to accrue at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum until paid in full.


Online Resource Center

Policies for Public Room Rentals:

NEW’s Conference Room Policies and Procedures, Detailed
NEW’s Conference Room Policies and Procedures, 1 page Summary
Room Rental Policies for the Community Resource Center of the United Way of Houston
Mansour Center’s Rental Policies
Space Usage Agreement and License – The Alliance Center for Sustainable Colorado
David Brower Center Event Contract Agreement
David Brower Center License and Use Agreement
See also Insurance and Liability


Marketing Event Space

Mansour Center’s Conference Center Marketing for Corporate Events
Mansour Center’s Conferene Center Marketing for Wedding and Social Events


Topics Below

More to come…. 
What to Charge for Program Space
Equipment Needed
Furnishings – Chairs
After Hour Pricing for Venue Rentals


Email if you have anything for the topics below:
Operating Procedures, Design/Layout, Square Footage, Other??


For Themes and Strategies for Gatherings, head here.


What to Charge for Program Space

From an Ask-NCN Discussion, 8/9/16

Irene Lehrer Sandalow, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
We might have found a space for this project, but we need to figure out the fee structure and I am hoping you can help with our thinking.

The space has three components:
1. Full and part time hot desk spaces
2. Permanent spaces for organizations working there every day, including closed office spaces
3. Program space: this space will be open to community members. However, for two of the organizations, the program space is their office space. (These organizations train people of all ages, including Rabbinic students to study Jewish texts in the original language) One organization will likely use it Monday – Friday from 10am – 2pm and occasional evenings and the other organization a couple of afternoons a week. They are using the largest space on the floor. This program space will also serve as Jewish library for community members.

I have a tentative fee structure for the hot desks ($400 f/t and $250 p/t) and permanent desks, but I am not sure how to calculate the fee for using the program space.

Thaddeus Squire, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia
One considering in pricing and commons spaces – everything except your desks – is whether you wish to upcharge it to member or include it in the “fully loaded” cost of the desks and transient membership rates. We do the latter, but we restrict the use of common spaces depending the level of members (Full, Light, Basic, etc.). Up-charging internal stakeholders for commons can feel a bit like the airlines charing for baggage – feels like nickel and diming.

The other consideration is whether you rent the common spaces to non-members (outside groups) or retain those spaces as a benefit of membership. To have a membership contract and let our your spaces erodes the value of membership, in my opinion. So we never let our spaces out to non-members. It also keeps the spaces available for use by members.

Erin Prefontaine, The Jerry Forbes Center Foundation
We have a similar situation: 40, 000+ ft2 of office space that includes closed offices, cubicles, hot desks, open collaboration spaces, a communal kitchen, small, med & large meeting and board rooms, a class room and a 4200+ ft2 event space.

We’re doing a couple of things to help with the cost calculations, which for us determine the price calculations:
– We’re working with a commercial property management person to help us ensure our leased space is charged at a rate that is well below commercial lease rates in our city (we’re aiming for -40%), that the rate includes everything (there is no base rent as the building is free-hold title, but utilities, operations staff costs (communications, property management, reception), and contribution to a capital reserve fund and an operating reserve fund)
– We are allotting the meeting spaces to each tenant, proportionate to the amount of lease space each has. We don’t know exactly what that would look like, but an example would be: If you’re renting 3500 ft2 of space, you receive 10 hours of meeting space per month.
– We are enabling the tenants to trade their free allotment of time: tenant A has 10 hours per month, but routinely only uses 6, they can donate their additional 4 to tenant B who only has 2 hours but needs an additional 4.
– Because of our funding agreements/model, we are not able to charge a membership to the Centre, so we are considering all charities in our City members of our community and charging a reduced rate (TBD) per hour to them for meeting space.
– We are charging a premium, hopefully still below market value, to for-profits wanting to rent meeting space.
– We are also brokering leases to those charities that only need large spaces for part of the year: charity A needs 3500 ft2 for 4 months, then only a third of that for the rest of the year. We would then encourage other tenants who are hiring summer students, or part-time workers to lease form said charity to help off-set costs. We are encouraging them to rent the hot-desks (which we will charge out a premium for) for times when they need to: financial audits, etc.
– We are encouraging any charity leaning toward a hot-desk for part-time work to rent a full-time cubicle, as they are cheaper overall.

If you have the opportunity to work with a property management person (I highly recommend seeking one for your board, or those of your tenants), that will really help you determine what you need to charge to be fair to the tenants, but that will ensure the Centre is fiscally sustainable.

Essentials for planning an Event Space

From an Ask-NCN Discussion, 9/9/13

Janna Six, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
The Alliance Center building in Denver is undergoing a major renovation to make capital improvements AND to expand and activate our event space and make it more useful for tenants and the public. We will have 3,000 sq ft of event space available on the first floor (of the 6 story building).

In order make the event space the best it can be, we’d like to hear from you. What features/ equipment are essential? What lessons have you learned? How do you charge tenants for use of the space? Please share your thoughts by replying to my email. If you have produced your own event space procedures manual, would you be willing to share that too? Thanks! Once we get ours figured out (in January?), we’ll post our event space procedures on the NCN website.(See policy and marketing documents above.)
Pam Brems, Mansour Center
Some suggestions of “must have’s” for event space rental:

  • Event Management Software – not only to keep the calendar but to allow you to run reports, showing utilization, invoicing, receivables, setup information, communications with rental customers, etc.
  • Tables on WHEELS, preferable that bend down, to eliminate the need to lift and stack…tilt and roll, so to speak
  • Chairs WITHOUT arms to accommodate all sizes of participate and allow easier stacking. Also avoids damage to the arms from being shoved under tables and improper stacking.
  • Adjustable lighting, particularly near the front of the room/screens, so the front lights can be dimmed when presentations are being shown, but the attendees still have light at their work stations/tables.
  • Wireless internet – with adequate bandwidth for many guests, each of whom may have 2-3 devices (smart phone, tablet and laptop)

Tom Olivas, Girls Scouts Orange County
Good ideas, I would like to add to the comments below, durable wheels/castors on the chairs are also a great feature and be sure the chair back and seat are of a material or fabric that is easy to clean.

Thomas Gaylon, The Center for Family Resources
If renting space to outside groups make sure you have a contract and get a damage deposit.


From Ask-NCN Discussion

Vicki Ireland – Posner Center for International Development, 12/6/16
I am the Office Manager at the Posner Center for International Development. We are looking to purchase a bulk amount of chairs to live in our Common area for daily use as well as events held in the space. We are looking for something sturdy, stackable, and comfortable! I figure this is something that a lot of you might have in your space. Any recommendations on where to purchase at a good price point?

Shelby Fox, Knight Nonprofit Center
I got these recently at Sams club and they are nice and comfortable and only $20 each. I have some black ones that were purchased forever ago and was trying to add to them but some of the similar black stackable ones were over $60 and some over $100 which is so expensive. These chairs were the best look and value I could find. Not sure the picture will show but trying to attach one.

Rebecca Landau, Urban Land Conservancy
Check with Merchant furniture. They often have very good used furniture. We have been very happy with what we got for Curtis Park and Tramway.
Similar to this:


After Hour Pricing for Venue Rentals

From Ask-NCN 10.23.17

Tarshea Sanderson, Center 4 Social Change
Hi, I am the venue rental coordinator at my workplace. I would like to know how best to price venues at our location after normal business hours. Can anyone give me a pricing guideline. I would certainly appreciate it!

Marc Kondrup, Midland Shared Spaces
We add $20/hour for anything after 5:00pm or on weekends. We don’t have an event coordinator on our staff, so this does not include an MSS staff person to be on site, just extra for lights, HVAC, etc.

Mike Gilbert, The Jones Trust
It is important to understand what your added cost is for after hours use of space. Things to consider:

  • Cost of security or maintenance staffing
  • Cost of utility consumption
  • Cost of heating/cooling
  • Cost of housekeeping (if any)
  • Is the price the same for a tenant partner as it is for an outside agency?

The big thing is how do you staff and what does it cost? You need someone in the building to be able to respond to emergency if a sprinkler head breaks, fire alarm goes off, etc.
Staffing cost is the big starting point and then utilities. I would expect that your true cost for extended hours with 1 staff person is somewhere near $30-$35 hour.


Topics Below

Fee and Facilitating Conference Rooms Space


Ask-NCN Conversation 10.10.17


Debbie Shoemaker, Community Foundation of Southern Arizona
I am helping an organization that is developing a new nonprofit community center. They are currently Developing their business model and are looking for any input on facilitating the conference room space? Is there any charge for tenants or co-working members? What fees are you charging? What would be the fee for outside users? Do you have individual fees for conference room AV equipment etc.? How do you handle after hour events. Does your Onside Manager help with after hour events? I would appreciate any input on this subject. Thank you
Shelby Bradbury, Nonprofit Innovation Center
At the NIC we only charge for after-hours usage, anything on the weekends or after 5 pm on weekdays. It’s a $50/hour charge. We only allow tenants to use the common space at NIC. We have a conference center next door for nonprofits in our community, free of charge. We provide A/V equipment to our two large meeting rooms.


Charlene Altenhain, Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center
Free conference space is a benefit extended to our tenant nonprofits. They can use the space any time and they are responsible for set up, clean up, and if used after hours, they are responsible for securing the building. We also provide A/V at no charge. Community partner nonprofits can use the space during the day, but they have to be sponsored by a tenant to use the space after hours. Then the tenant is responsible for securing the building. Our staff handles scheduling and making sure the rooms are clean and ready to be used.


Sarah Reidy-Jones, Children and Family Services Center, Inc.
We offer unlimited conference room usage for our partner tenants (10 year lease). We have 10 conference rooms that seat from 6-100. Non-partner tenants get 5 free hours of usage and a nominal fee ($15/$25/$50/$100 an hour depending on size of room).
Due to the popularity of these rooms, we limit outside usage to groups that are specifically working with our partner tenants. We do require off-hours security guards (approximately $25/hour) if outside our normal security guard staffing. We have an IT staff that assists with A/V equipment but no off-hours manager. We provide spider phones, projectors and microphones/speakers at no cost but on a first-come, first-serve basis. We use Outlook Calendars to book our meeting room spaces.


Shelby Fox, Knight Nonprofit Center
We consider meeting and banquet room space a tenant benefit so we do not charge tenants but do charge anyone else that is not a tenant including nonprofits and for profits. There isn’t really a restriction on tenants except there is a limited amount of times the banquet room can be used by the smaller tenants to keep people from renting the smallest suite and monopolizing the meeting rooms so just a fairness check on size but never had an issue with it to date. After hours is different I even charge tenants for afterhours especially weekends. I determine what is “after hours” by if I have to extend when the air is on, have housekeeping make an additional trip or extend security. Tenants can NOT sponsor non tenants if a non-tenant goes through a tenant to make a meeting reservation so they don’t have to pay I charge it back to the tenant. Partnership meetings are of course allowed but if the tenant is not really part of the meeting they can’t sponsor by giving away space. We found that some of our meeting rooms were not being utilized as much as they could be so when we started charging outside groups it really helped utilize the center, spread the word about the center because it was good marketing having outside groups come in, and was a nice revenue stream that allowed us to add extra benefits for the tenants.


Kim Jones, Nonprofit Village

At the Nonprofit Village, we also do not charge current members for use of meeting space. However, we have started to put a limit on the number of hours based on whether the organization is virtual or full service. They all book their own time online, and at the end of each month we draw the results of the number of hours used. Then we severely punish and publicly humiliate those that go over the limit (just kidding). We charge them back for the extra hours used. It seemed to get everyone in control because we haven’t charged in months.

Nonmember organizations are charged $25/hour, lower than the rate for most county space. Evening and weekend rates are higher. Members cannot sponsor nonmembers unless the member is a part of the meeting. All equipment is included in the room usage (phone line, speaker pod, TV with HDMI cable, screen and projector. No laptop is included though. Free wifi is available. We do not offer assistance, except to answer setup questions, even for nonmember groups. Hope this helps. Feel free to contact offline if necessary.


From an Ask-NCN Discussion

Katie Edwards, Nonprofit Centers Network, 2/3/15
Another member question came across my desk, and I want to make sure I have up-to-date information to share. Would you be willing to share your pricing schedule for back office services (mail service, phones, storage, IT support, etc)? Are these services included as a part of your rent, your CAM Charges, or are they al la carte?

Thanks so much!


Stephanie FallCreek, Fairhill Partners, 2/3/15
Mail service included in lease. All else a la carte for us though often negotiated during the lease negotiation phase.


Ardi Korver, Region V Services, 2/3/15
Reception, mail service, and copiers are provided. All tenants have a code for outgoing mail and copying service which is billed monthly.

Use of conference rooms, coffee, parking, cleaning, utilities is included in the rent.

Phones, IT support, fiscal and HR support, storage, is a la carte.


Mike Gilbert, The Jones Center, 2/3/15
We have lobby mailboxes for all of our community partners.
Each building has wireless internet throughout, dedicated internet is available through the local providers.
We do not offer telephone service.
Our IT tech is available on an “if available” status to partners at no cost.
We offer storage in our basement at no charge. Each partner has a 10 x 20 fenced storage cube.
Conference and training space is no cost, reserved by partners as needed. (we have many rooms and no issues with availability.)

We are fortunate to have large enough space for fundraising events. Partners get one per year if available and a second event after all partners have had one or declined.


Christina Crawley, OpenGov Hub 2/4/15
We try to keep most services in the base rent to keep things simple: – Coffee/tea/water, storage, secure access, HVAC and meeting room space is included in the per-desk base rent ($500-$625/desk per month – which is below the Washington DC market rate)

– We have a mandatory add-on ‘community fee’ per desk as well to go towards a sort of petty cash fund for unanticipated repairs and to simplify social event expenses ($5/desk per month)

Add-ons are for optional services:
– Printing is separate as some groups have their own small printers ($15/desk per month)
– IT is separate as many groups don’t need this kind of support ($15/desk per month)

Parking is separate and managed by an external company.

Hope that’s helpful!

Shared Services Costs

Ask-NCN 12.6.17


Kim Jones, Nonprofit Village
The Nonprofit Village has full service and virtual members in our shared space. As we plan for a relocation to a new site in 2018, we now plan to incorporate a few shared back office services such as bookkeeping, HR and IT. In the future we will consider communications/marketing/design, and other areas. What is your experience with back office operations? Do you contract with the vendor, asking for a reduced rate in exchange for a set amount of business? Do any shared spaces use back office operations to generate additional revenue or is the service charge pass through from the tenant to the vendor, through the shared space? Appreciate any best practices or alerts about challenges in offering shared services.


Lucinda Kerschensteiner, Center for Social Change
We happen to have a PT bookkeeper on staff for our sister company who we have offered out to members on a shared services basis. We have had a couple members express an interest in using her someday (so we have not earned $$ from it yet). We just charge the members for her hourly rate (what we pay her) + 10% (or so) which is an affordable rate. We also have a few members who provide professional services and in exchange for a discounted membership, they agree to provide probono services to our members (in a limited fashion). I’m curious what others offer, too.


From an Ask-NCN Discussion 9/21/16


Deeter Schurig, cSpace
We’re beginning our search into ATM’s as a possible revenue source and convenience for visitors to our arts hub. As our centre is several blocks from a commercial area, we thought providing the option for cash for visitor might warrant consideration as well as another revenue source to support our cost recovery operations.

My question is whether anyone has an any advice, concerns or recommended vendors when it comes to ATM in their multi tenant centre? Are there companies that are supportive of NPO missions and keep fees reasonable? Are there installation, security, or management concerns related to these units?


Annette Paiement, The Cotton Factory
We do use an ATM. We have had to carefully monitor as there has been a situation where the ATM wasn’t filled with money, it was giving an out of order message, however taking $2.00 from our clients bank accounts.

It is an amazing add to the building as there is not a bank or ATM anywhere within walking distance of our facility.


Jimmy Martin, Chicago Literacy Alliance

What’s the process for partnering with a company/bank to have one installed?


Annette Paiement

I just reached out directly to a private ATM company. They had two different agreements which I could choose from. We did not want to purchase a machine as it was not in our budget, so we choose an option where they paid us a percentage of each transaction. We also decided to keep this percentage minimal as we did not want to take advantage of our tenants. Having a service to provide them was of greater importance.

I have a questions for everyone, can you provide me with any feedback you have around facility security. Specifically, what is your procedure for after hour emergencies. Who do your coworkers call? Do you use an answering service? Do you pay an on call staff person to deal with after hour concerns.

Would love to hear from anyone who has feedback as we build our policies and procedures.


Jenny Camhi, Leichtag Foundation

My husband is the ATM business. If you have any questions about the revenue a machine can bring in or the best way to set up a machine, please don’t hesitate to call ATM Depot and ask for Jeremy Camhi. Please let him know you are a colleague of mine. They are based here in Encinitas, CA, but they service machines all over the US; (760) 512-4124


Types of Fundraising

Capital Campaigns

Building Blocks for Success: Joint Capital Campaigns
Partner Agreement for Joint Capital Campaign: Al Sigl Center
Partner Agreement for Joint Capital Campaigns: Charles E. Lakin Human Services Center
Partner Resolution for Joint Capital Campaigns: Children and Family Services Center
A Nonprofit Space Odyssey – A Capital Projects Primer


Annual Fundraising

NCN Webinar: Filling the Gap – Raising Operating Funds


Fundraising Templates

Case Statements

cSpace King Edward: This beautifully designed brochure expresses the case statement for cSpace King Edward, an arts focused shared space that is rennovating a 100 year old sandstone school in Calgary, Alberta. (Shortlink:


Wood Buffalo Community Village: This six-page document makes the case for supporting the Wood Buffalo Community Village. Although the space closed in 2014 due to inability to find suitable space to move to, this case stament highlights several strong arguments for donating to a nonprofit center. (Shortlink:


J. Walter Cameron Center This case statement was developed for the capital campaign for the J. Walter Cameron Center, a human services center in Maui, Hawaii, and is now being used as a supporting document for other fundraising efforts.(Shortlink:


The David Brower Center This 3 page case statement describes the history, mission, space usage, accomplishments, and remaining financial needs of the David Brower Center, which houses organizations focused on the environment and social justice.


Online Resource Center

This is discussed breifly here: NCN Webinar: Don’t Leave Money On the Table

Do you offer named sponsorship opportunities to businesses and vendors?

Ask-NCN 4/11/2017


Lillian Gutierrez, The Alliance Voice of Community Nonprofits
Do any other nonprofit centers offer named sponsorship opportunities to businesses and vendors? Such as conference rooms, copy machine/supply rooms, kitchen and other shared space, offices, etc.… If so, what do you charge for that opportunity? How did you come up with those amounts? Do you offer one year or multi-year sponsorships? What benefits do the sponsors receive?


Mike Gilbert, The Jones Trust
What a great subject. Naming opportunities are excellent ways to establish very strategic sustaining partnerships and are a part of our overall development strategy. Our Advancement team works to establish naming opportunities that align with the mission and values of our corporate partners. These agreements vary in size and term and are typically offered as a slate of available opportunities. We are fortunate that we have created a desire to sponsor space in our key location and are developing similar strategies in our more recent projects.

The questions you ask are typical questions and the pricing structure and donor recognition varies. It is recommended that you establish a “standard” attached to sponsorship levels and terms so that you maintain consistency in the image of your Center, you do not want to become an ad wall, however, considering offering advertising space in your break area, elevators, and other circulation areas in an isolated manner.

Most naming agreements range between three and five years and range between $5,000 and $20,00 per year depending on what fits the sponsor/donor corporate structure. The longer the term the better, and the longer the term the more permanent the recognition can be. Recognition aligns with the level of support and is mutually agreed upon.

Think creatively on who to recruit for specific space and find ways to capture multiple buckets of funding if possible. For example, a company might sponsor your conference rooms with a corporate commitment of $5,000 annually for three years. They can use the rooms on occasion for meetings or trainings utilizing their HR budget for a portion of the gift and use their philanthropy budget for the remainder. They now show community involvement to their team and helps connect the community to your building mission and partners.

Another example may be that you work with a local grocer to sponsor the break room snacks, where you include space for their weekly ad, and maybe a monthly snacks stipend for building partners, the store can work with their supplier and accomplish that easily. This keeps open a naming right for a larger Company.
One can work on the same strategy for supply rooms, but it is better to seek in kind sponsorship of supplies and recognize those donors in social media and newsletters and such.

All of this funnels into the larger sustainability component of our development strategy geared at establishing long term sustaining support relationships that bring value to all parties. The more ways corporations can involve their associates in community engagement, the more they are inclined to work outside the box with you. We try to have opportunities to choose from and solicit what we believe is a natural fit for our partners.

Corporate accounting is a funny thing. Some people need to find advertising opportunities, some need to fund capital or sponsor an event and some will just give as philanthropy.


Types of Fundraising

Capital Campaigns

Building Blocks for Success: Joint Capital Campaigns
Partner Agreement for Joint Capital Campaign: Al Sigl Center
Partner Agreement for Joint Capital Campaigns: Charles E. Lakin Human Services Center
Partner Resolution for Joint Capital Campaigns: Children and Family Services Center
A Nonprofit Space Odyssey – A Capital Projects Primer


Annual Fundraising

NCN Webinar: Filling the Gap – Raising Operating Funds
Annual E-mail Appeal
The Nonprofit Village sends out an annual year end appeal. Katie asked Kim Jones for more details on 1/4/2016.

Direct Mail
Deschutes Children’s Foundation conducts and annual direct mail campaign.


Fundraising Templates

Case Statements

cSpace King Edward: This beautifully designed brochure expresses the case statement for cSpace King Edward, an arts focused shared space that is rennovating a 100 year old sandstone school in Calgary, Alberta. (Shortlink:

Wood Buffalo Community Village: This six-page document makes the case for supporting the Wood Buffalo Community Village. Although the space closed in 2014 due to inability to find suitable space to move to, this case stament highlights several strong arguments for donating to a nonprofit center. (Shortlink:

J. Walter Cameron Center This case statement was developed for the capital campaign for the J. Walter Cameron Center, a human services center in Maui, Hawaii, and is now being used as a supporting document for other fundraising efforts.(Shortlink:

The David Brower Center This 3 page case statement describes the history, mission, space usage, accomplishments, and remaining financial needs of the David Brower Center, which houses organizations focused on the environment and social justice.


Online Resource Center

NCN State of the Sector Survey 2015 Report I Managing Collaboration: Staffing and Salary in Shared Spaces
NCN State of the Sector Survey 2015 Report I Balancing Act: Sustainable Finances for Shared Spaces
NCN Webinar – Building Reserve Funds: Prepare for the Worst with Best Practices
NCN Webinar – Business Planning: Crafting a Sustainable Business Model

NCN Webinar – Don’t Leave Money on the Table
Nonprofit Overhead Cost Project | The Quality of Financial Reporting by Nonprofits: Findings and Implications (Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy)

Topics Below

Loans and Financing RFPs

Loans and Financing RFPs

From an Ask-NCN Discussion 3/3/15

Katie Edwards, The Nonprofit Centers Network
I just got a question from The Sunflower Foundation, an NCN member who is in the process of starting up a nonprofit center. They are looking at their financing options, and have relationships with a few local banks. They would like do something like an RFP so that they can easily compare the terms of the offers that they receive. They would like to know:

  • Has anyone done something similar and can you share your RFP as a sample?
  • Has anyone used collateral for the loan other than the land itself (as a foundation, the Sunflower Foundation has the option of using its endowment or other assets to secure the loan)? What did you learn? What would you recommend?


David Schrayer, Mill One
I learned at the NCN event in Denver this fall that most groups don’t have debt financing, lucky them!

We don’t have an RFP per se. The banks will issue very similar term sheets so they should be easy to compare and the differences will prompt you to ask for clarification on certain items.

Re collateral: the best term for you as a borrower is a “non-recourse” loan in which the property alone acts as the collateral for the loan and whatever entity owns the property (assuming it is held by a related LLC and not the foundation itself) is on the hook for the loan. If this is a new center and there is no rent income history the non-recourse loan is highly unlikely. Beware of the extent to which your endowment becomes encumbered by the loan for the center. This is something that should be considered carefully by your CFO or finance committee.

I’d recommend starting by talking with the community development or loan officer that you’re most friendly with and getting the lay of the land before you start shopping around. They will be able to tell you what’s most likely given your situation. You can use that information to speak more coherently to other lenders. This will go a long way in showing how smart and thoughtful you are!

Here are some things that all lenders will want to know so will be good to have handy. Most will have some kind of intake form that you’ll need to fill out.

  • Legal name of borrower (property owner)
  • Block and lot, land area, zoning
  • Description of building: construction type, # stories, types of uses
  • Any recent appraisals done
  • Survey
  • Environmental information
  • Names of tenants, square feet occupied
  • Any deed restrictions
  • Last year’s tax return for building
  • Income and expense statement, last year and projected


Melissa Nochlin, Broad Street LLC
Contact Megan Devenport at Denver Shared Spaces- she will be a great help. Megan Devenport:

Nonprofit Centers Network

1536 Wynkoop Street, Suite 103
Denver, CO 80202

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