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Salary and Staffing in Shared Spaces

NCN State of the Sector Survey Report 2015 I Managing Collaboration: Salary and Staffing in Shared Spaces

Topics Below

Foundation Support for Nonprofit Center Manager
Staffing and After Hours Management
See also Welcome Presence for New/Established Centers

Online Resource Center

Job Descriptions

Communications Coordinator – Community Learning Commons
Community Animator – Centre for Social Innovation
Community Catalyzer – Tides
Concierge – Literacenter
Director and Operations Manager – Citizen Engagement Lab
Executive Director – Aurora Welcome Center
Executive Director – Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center
Executive Director – Kukui Children’s Center
Executive Director – MarinSpace
Executive Director – Serve Denton
Facility and Office Manager – Deschutes’ Children’s Foundation
Facility Manager Job Description – Asian Arts Initiative
Maintenance Services Supervisor – New Path Foundation
Office Manager – Citizen Engagement Lab
Program Coordinator (part time) – Third Sector New England
Program Manager – Marin Community Foundation
Program Manager – Tides
Receptionist/Facility Manager (part-time) – Deschutes’ Children’s Foundation
Receptionist – New Path Foundation

Foundation Support for Nonprofit Center Manager


From an Ask-NCN Discussion, 3/3/14


Jenny Baker, JABA
Our Partnership Board and Tenants Association are exploring the need for a center manager. This person would take on Board administration, community outreach efforts, social media, event planning, etc. for the Jefferson School as a whole. Can you point me in the right direction of some grants that might fund this type of position? Many of our tenants focus on the health and wellbeing of our community.


Katie Edwards, The Nonprofit Centers Network
Most of what we see when it comes to funding a Nonprofit Center Manager involves using earned income from rent supporting the position. If foundations are involved in funding a nonprofit center, they are usually local or focused on serving a specific geographic area.


Have any of you worked with funders who have been interested in supporting the ongoing staffing of nonprofit centers? What has been your experience?

Sarah Newman
In our experience this and other overhead expense funding is some of the hardest to find. We did get some local government funding for the Director and for the Information/Referral position.


Glen Newby, New Path Youth & Family Services
I would agree with Sarah, this is very difficult. Even our New Path Foundation does not directly support the financing of the administrative component of the Common Roof facilities, these are done by allocations from the rents received from partners and tenants. It would be a major accomplishment to our efforts if a Foundation or other granting organization (government would be great!) financially supported administration on a multi-tenant center. Any examples out there?


Cesar Glaxiola, J. Walter Cameron Foundation
I have never seen any funding source (government or private foundation) supporting the administration component. It will need to be from the monthly assessments agencies are contributing to your location. On your planning include the following costs: the administration component, utilities bills, maintenance and repairs and savings for the long term capital improvement projects. On the long term improvement projects can be breakdown:

-Large projects: Anything over certain amount i.e. $50,000 your agency match a percentage from its long term savings and the rest is obtain by approaching multiple founders.

-Smaller projects under $49,000, your agency holds annual fundraisers, other events, ask for business donations, etc…


Eli Malinksy, Centre for Social Innovation
Just to offer a counter-balance, our organization has previously received a foundation grant for staffing of our centre. It has been a while, but it did happen. As others point out, however, this is rare. Your best bet is to position it as a time delimited, or project-specific, effort. E.g., funding for a Community Manager for 18 months to help the organization establish its self-sustainability, or funding for an Events Person to introduce new programming to members, rather than a straight up admin/operations grant.


Kim McNamer, Deschutes’ Children’s Foundation
We fundraise annually for staff which includes 4 part-time facility managers, an Executive Director and a Development Director as well as basic operations because we do not charge rent to our partners. We have a use fee that covers basic CAMS and is money in, money out. The other half of our budget is fundraising for the above mentioned staff and small repair and maintenance reserves. This is always a challenge for many Foundations – we are most successful with small family foundations giving $5K or less who don’t mind the operational side of things and get our model. We have worked to approach it a bit differently with this model – and some get it, others just don’t and will only fund specific projects. For our new facility, Foundations were over 1/3 of the fundraising, but it was a capital campaign and they love those. Those Foundations are harder to get back for basic operations – but all were statewide and I haven’t found interest in others outside of the state, many cover only specific areas as well. Our fundraising is all through events, individuals, companies, service organizations and foundations. We do not receive any federal or local government grants (outside of an occasional discretionary grant from our County Commissioners). We can’t find much we qualify for on the government side of funding.
We have to fundraise $295,000 annually and the breakdown is as follows:
Events – 56%
Individuals – 34%
Foundations – 8 %
Other – 2%

It is a continued challenge, but one we manage and handle as best we can in order to keep the rent-free for our 28 nonprofit partners who are using office and classroom space at four locations. My biggest challenge is find another nonprofit center out there who has this specific model and needs to fundraise annually to get operations running smoothly. If we can’t fundraise what we need, we either need to cut staff or increase the use fees, which is never the popular or desired outcome.


Alysson Storey, Chatham Cultural Centre
At the Ground Floor in Chatham, Ontario, where I am currently a Board member, we have been fortunate to receive Trillium funding to support our part-time paid administrator position. We are entering year two of operations; we were only able to open for year one through a joint application to the Trillium Foundation between our municipality, a local arts festival (who is a tenant of our space), and a private local business, who provided our first location at a reduced rental rate, as well as located their office there. Our Trillium application was successful for one year, after which point, if the initiative is moving forward in a positive direction, applicants are usually encouraged to apply for a three-year funding grant. We were successful for that grant as well, which will be in place from 2013-15. Since we are just starting out, we have a small space and a small number of tenants. However even with this small start, we are finding that a part-time coordinator just isn’t enough – we need her full-time! Especially to promote and market this new space and educate our community, as this concept tends to get a lot of blank stares from people around here. So our work is cut out for us. We are also looking at other grants, as well as revenues generated by our tenant rental fees.


Thaddeus Squire, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia
We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and operate a coworking space for nonprofit arts, heritage, and creative enterprise, as well as individual artists and makers. We have a 6-year, commercial lease at a good price (ca. $22/SF) but not substantially below market on 5,000SF, with $600/month in electric and no U&O. Our three levels of membership pay for 100% of the operating costs of the space, including lease cost and utilities, shared leased technology, security, internet and telephone, one full-time space/membership manager position at $45k + fringe, and repayment (over 1.5 years) of a zero interest capital loan of $50k. We found that the density that coworking permits allows for running costs and management staff to be comfortably covered. (All of the above costs can be covered at about $15k/month, and the revenue potential of the space we estimate at $20k – $25k/month, though we have not yet attained that level of income. We’ve been open since Nov 2012.)

Staffing and After Hours Management


From Ask-NCN 3/24/17


Michele Vandentilaart, The Link in Georgina

  1. Does your centre/hub (for those who currently have tenant organizations in the building) have operating hours posted, meaning your main doors are open to the public during that time and, do you have ‘staff’ managing the building only during those hours?
  2. If you do have ‘open’ business hours, how do you handle your operation after hours. Do you still have staff in the building to accommodate any needs of your tenants?
  3. Are any of you operating a shared responsibility model with your tenants, meaning tenants may be operating or holding events/workshops, etc. in your building outside of business hours and are responsible for the common areas and lock up of the building when finished? Or, do you only allow activity if you have staff on site?

How do you all manage this?


Chris Bowyer, The Alliance Center

A to Q1: The operating hours for our building are not publicly posted anywhere within our facility. However, for communication to those tenants inside of our walls typical hours have been communicated to when someone from our staff is expected to be in the building and available for any tenant needs. One nuance for our space is that our lobby is open to the public and houses a coffee bar that is open to the public. Given this distinction our front door is open during those operating hours while access to any other area of the building is locked. Outside of our first floor area visitors are required to be let upstairs by tenants or our organization.

A to Q2: During after hours events we manage these in a number of ways. For events that are being held in our event space, we have dedicated staff or volunteers who are present in the building through the duration of the event. These individuals provide a multitude of services ranging from greeting meeting participants, assisting catering, AV needs, cooling/heating and many others. Outside of our first floor conference room some of these similar services are provided to the other conference rooms in the building yet typically on a much lesser degree. This service is only provided in those spaces when those conference rooms are booked through our team. For after hours events that are held by tenants, unless specifically requested our team is not required to be onsite. However, we have provided tenants with an after hours emergency number that will contact members of our operations team or an external organization who can respond to urgent building matters (floods, locked out of building, etc) around the clock. Many of our electronic systems are available remotely so many issues that arise are able to be accommodated from home.

A to Q3: As mentioned above tenants regularly have events in the building during off hours. When our event space is being used a member of our team is typically present. When other spaces are being used and the space has not been coordinated with our team we will not be present for the event. As our external doors are only accessible by tenants during the evenings and weekends and can be opened with a keycard system that each tenant carries, security of our external doors has not been an issue in the past. The tenants are responsible for ensuring that during an event not serviced by our team that only those participating in the event enter the building. During large events however, these doors have been scheduled to be unlocked during a specified time period and our team confirms those operations while servicing the event. Tenants are generally responsible for cleaning a space and not leaving excess belongings, food, equipment but our janitorial team will perform any necessary cleanings around the building after evening events and when necessary after weekend events.

I hope this response is not too long winded and helpful. Please let me know how I can better answer additional questions.


Laurie Rich, The David Brower Center

1. We do have operating hours, as we have a public gallery space. We are open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm. We have a door locking software that we set to be open and tenants use their key fobs outside of these hours to gain access to the building. Our staff typically works during those hours (some of our staff have adjusted schedules). We have a front desk receptionist to greet visitors and tenants Monday – Friday from 9:30am – 4pm.

2. Open business hours are typically Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. After hours requests are sent through a central email ticket system or a after hours call number that gets routed to various staff.
3. Tenants are permitted to have events in their suites outside of normal business hours. We have language (pasted below) from our resident organization manual for them to refer to.
Events and Meetings in Office Suites – Large Events
If you are having an event or meeting for more than twenty people during regular office hours, in the evening, or on a weekend, please inform at least two weeks before the event. Please let us know if you anticipate a large volume of trash and/or recycling. Remember that all waste and recycling should be properly sorted and left inside the office suite.
Please note that compliance with the City of Berkeley’s noise ordinance is required for all events in the building. The noise ordinance limits exterior noise to 65 decibels between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and to 60 decibels between the hours 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Note this really isn’t very loud. For example, a room full of people with some music playing or several folks talking on the Terrace could easily exceed the ordinance. We strongly suggest you close windows and doors and make sure that the sound does not carry outside of your space. This is not just to comply with the noise ordinance, but also to respect our neighbors at Oxford Plaza.

Events and Meetings in Office Suites – Signage
If you are having a meeting or event in your office suite, the Center can post signage in the lobby to notify participants of the meeting details. Please submit the following information at least 2 business days prior to your event:

  • Organization name
  • Suite number
  • Event name
  • Event date and starting and ending time
  • Number of guests expected


The Brower Center will create and place signage according to the following procedures:

  • Daytime events/meetings will be included on the “Today’s Events” sign in the 1st and 2nd floor lobbies.
  • Evening and weekend events/meetings: If there is a concurrent conference center event, an 11×17 sign listing your event information will be placed in the lobby. If there are no conference center events, an 8.5×11 sign listing your event information and call-box instructions will be placed in the exterior sign holder above the call-box at the front doors.
    Please note that taping or posting signs throughout the building is not permitted. Additionally, we highly recommend that you station a greeter at the front door to welcome and provide access to your guests.


Michele Vandentilaart, The Link in Georgina

May I follow-up with a few other questions:

How many staff ‘manage’ the building on a daily basis?

What is your square footage?

How many tenant organizations do you have?

How do you handle sick time/vacation time of staff if you have limited staffing? Do your tenants collaborate to provide customer service in the building?


Online Resource Center

NCN WEBINAR | Community Animation 101: Leveraging Property Management to Ignite Engagement
Property Management Agreement
Property Manager Agreement (HSC Foundation)
External Due Diligence Checklist (Newmark Knight Frank)

Topics Below

Property Management – Outsource or Internalize? (2015 Discussion)
Property Management RFP (2016 Discussion) (Actual RFP from Langs)
Property Management Plan

Property Management – Outsource or Internalize?

From an Ask-NCN Discussion on 9/28/2015


Katie Edwards, 9/28
I’ve recently gotten a question that I wanted to pass along. One of our centers has been outsourcing their property management functions since they opened. Now, they’re considering integrating the property management function with their operations and admin team. Their space is quite large, in the 100,000 square foot range. Has anyone gone through this transition recently? What would you recommend? What are the pitfalls that you should be aware of in the transition? What is your rationale for in-house property management? Is it more cost effective for you to do this in-house or to outsource it? Make sure to share how big your center is and how many tenants you have, since these are big influences in how complicated property management can be.


John Powers, Alliance Center, 9/28/15
Consider splitting management functions, bringing all in-house that are manageable and cost effective, and negotiate having a management company deal with those it is best suited to address – 24-hour on-call (tenants with issues relevant to themselves are charged for the services they require, e.g. lost keys, alarms going off), central building services (e.g. elevator inspections and repairs).


Ted Dang, Commonwealth Real Estate 9/28/15
Be careful when considering integrating property management functions in a non profit organization.
In many states like California, property management functions, defined as marketing and/or leasing space and collecting rents, require a real estate license. There are exceptions like if the non profit owns the property, than an officer of the corporation may handle these duties without a license. However, if the ownership of the property is in some entity that includes outside investors, the exception is not available.

Notwithstanding, some property management functions does require some business training in the areas of law, accounting, and real estate. It is not a simple assignment for amateurs.


Dustin Barrington, HNS Life Center, 9/28/15
I would echo both responses thus far…
1. Understand all your costs and make sure that you are making a wise investment.
2. Property Management is considered a profession because it is. There is a lot to keep track of…
Saving money in the short term may cost you more in the long term if you damage something expensive by accident.

That being said, If you have a committed professional, there are benefits to having this function in-house. It is the option we have chosen.


Property Management RFP (Outsource or Internalize?)

From an Ask-NCN Discussion 11/28/16


Debbie Shoemaker, Community Foundation of Southern Arizona
My organization is setting up a nonprofit center and bought a building. They are not going to manage the property. Because it is nonprofit, they have to send out a RFP for a property manager.
We are looking for a sample RFP for property management firms, if someone was to outsource this work to another entity. For example, I have a nonprofit center, but I don’t have the staff to take care of all the property management in house, what would I be looking for in an RFP?


Brian Doyle, Family Services, Inc.
We are a not for profit and we manage our Center. We explored using a property manager and decided against it.


Doug Vilsack, Posner Center for International Development
We are a non-profit and hired a property manager prior to the opening of our center in 2013. Two years later we got rid of that property manager and hired in-house to cover operations because they just didn’t get the needs of a shared space. I would caution against hiring a property manager that has never manged a shared office facility or co-working space.


Chris Bowyer, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
After being in Doug’s space just yesterday and meeting his operations manager, I will attest that having in-house property management is essential for a shared space and specifically for non-profits. However, as the operations manager in a non-profit shared office building who also has the assistance of a property management company, I am slightly biased.

In my setting, I have the ability to manage contracts and vendors and get my hands dirty on occasion while also utilizing the assistance of a property management company for some routine maintenance and 24/7 service on off hours when that is required. While the 24/7 service is used to a much lesser degree than maintenance it is incredibly helpful as an alternative to overnight or weekend visits to the building.


Shelby Fox, Knight Nonprofit Center
I have the exact same option and bias. You have to have someone on site but if you just have one person like me it is great to have a PM company also. Ours does all the accounting, keeps up with the tenants and vendors COIs and W9s, pays the bills, and directly deals with tenants that are past due. I approve all the bills and make all the decisions and can call vendors direct but it is great to have someone to keep up with checking the fire extinguishers, and annual certificates and all that routine regular stuff that just needs to get done so I can focus on bigger picture items and it also helps with my relationships with the tenants to not be the one that has to hassle them is rent is late. I really don’t even find out for a couple months so I only step in if there really is a problem. I am not the one have to send the notices and all that which keeps them from avoiding me or anything like that. I know and can talk to them but the PMs are my buffer for items like that. It is also a good checks and balances for the accounting so we don’t end up paying the money for a review or audit. They also prepare all the financial reports for board meetings and cost less than an accounting firm so I feel like I get a great deal. It is not a replacement for an onsite operations manager but it is an asset and you will save your money in the CPA expenses and number of people you need to have on site to manage the building.


Judy Lind, Kukui Children’s Center
I would add another reason to have a professional property manager as we do. I am a social worker. I do not have the background to manage a building. By overseeing the work of the property manager through monthly reports and regular phone contact, I can identify what needs my input and also have someone to delegate to.

It’s the best of both worlds.


Debbie Shoemaker
I would be interested in the size of you nonprofit. Our building will be about 25,000 square feet and our organization will occupy about 8,000 sq ft. The remainder will have tenants which will include a co-op space for nonprofits with as little as one person in the organization.


Doug Barrington, HNS Life Center
We are a non-profit social service organization. We own a 62,000sqft building with 19 tenants (40,000sqft of which is new construction in the last 3 years).

Our organization occupies about 45% of the building and carries about 15% of the building as common/shared space. We do our own Facility Management as part of an “Operations” Team with 2 staff and a handful of volunteers. The team also does Facility Coordination, Volunteer Coordination, and community animation/collaboration.

My 2 cents: Managing a facility is a professional role of its own. You can certainly do it (and save money) if you’re willing to learn but it isn’t something that just “takes care of itself.” If you’d like to have more practical input, please feel free to give me a call.


Nancy Zallek, Mankato Area Foundation
Interesting question. We had a unique situation. We started with one property manager because they were a donor to the building AND discounted their services – considerably. However, it did not work out very well – for a variety of reasons. Primarily, we were so different from the properties they typically managed, we wound up doing much of it ourselves anyway.

After 6 months of that frustration, we switched to a different property manager. They also discounted their rate for us ($150 per month – $35 per call) to manage the property. Our accountant took on the financial responsibilities because she just kept re-doing it anyway. That has worked quite well for us.

Our primary want/need for a property manager was to try and remove us from the role of “landlord.” We own the building we’re in with 6 other nonprofits and it was too easy for them to come to us for the lightbulbs that needed replacing. I’m not saying we’ve totally negated that situation, but it is much better. If you have additional questions, I’d be happy to talk with you.


Faisal Abid, Third Sector New England
I’ve been involved with management of the NonProfit Center of Boston, a project of Third Sector New England, for around 5 and a half years now. When I started here, I worked for a property management company that was contracted out to manage this building. We have 8 and a half floors and about 113,000 rentable square feet broken up in to three shared spaces and many private suites. As of October 2015, my colleague and I have been direct employees of TSNE as managers of the building.

Having experienced both of these situations, I can say that I’ve found working directly for TSNE has been a much smoother process. It streamlines a lot of processes especially on the decision making and accounting end of things. And one of the biggest intangible benefits has been the direct connection to our tenant community, not as a contracted employee of a for-profit organization but a fellow employee of a nonprofit working towards social change.

This transition has also allowed us to add value to TSNE as an organization by overseeing internal administrative and office management duties (as well as internal fit outs, space planning, etc.) that our background in property and facilities management has prepared us well for.


Bill Davidson, Langs
I have attached an RFP for a property manager. We tried having a hybrid model with a property manager doing some of the work and our organization fulfilling some of the functions of a property manager. There were benefits to this approach but we did not sustain it. We ended up hiring our own staff to help manage the property. Regardless you may find the RFP we used helpful.



Property Management Plan

From an Ask-NCN Discussion 1/21/14


Randi Taylor, MNP LLP, 1/21/14
We are assisting the Jerry Forbes Centre in planning for operations, including the development of a Property Management Plan. I have found examples of Property Management Agreements but have been unable to locate Property Management Plans for shared spaces. Does anyone have a Plan they would be willing to share with us or even a table of contents that outlines what is generally included in a Property Management Plan for a shared space? We appreciate any advice you are able to share.


Lara Jakubowski, Nonprofit Centers Network, 1/28/14
In answer to your question, we found an example from Children and Family Services in Charlotte in our Online Resource Center. Here’s the link. I hope this helps everyone else who inquired about property management plans as well.

As a reminder to everyone, if you have a great sample document that you would be willing to share, we’d love to add it to our Resource Center! Either email it to Katie Edwards at or you can post it by logging in to the NCN Online Resource Center.

Please note that all resources are moderated and won’t appear right away.

Keep the questions coming!


Property Management Firms

From an Ask-NCN Discussion, 2/25/15


Saul Ettlin, Tides
Tides will be putting out an RFP this year for property management services and we wanted to hear from our colleagues in the field on what models people are using (full property management, hybrid, self managed) and what people feel are the advantages of a given model (cost, service level, expertise, something else).

Also, it would be great to hear any recommendations of firms that you feel really understand the ins and outs of nonprofit centers – especially the community building aspects.

Looking forward to hearing your insights. Thanks!


Dustin Barrington, HNS Life Center
Here at the Life Center we self manage.

The primary benefit that we derive from this approach is full control and more community engagement. We are more free to determine how we allocate our resources and we are able to save money by directly engaging volunteers in a lot of projects that we would otherwise be charged for by a service provider. We choose to contract out specialized functions (trades that require licensing, landscaping and snow removal, etc) and supplement with volunteer labor as skills, needs and availability line up.

This is a bit more complicated to manage, of course, but it is more economical, it creates a “high touch” feel that make people feel valued, it extends our reach into our local community and it creates a closer connection with more potential partners.

The primary challenge is keeping track of all the moving parts. Unless you have a person or team that is able to perform effectively in property management AND bridge to volunteer engagement, it is hard to keep the chaos at bay. Thick skin, a sense of adventure, a positive perspective and the ability to prioritize/balance urgency vs. importance are all important. A good sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.

As long as you feel like you can justify the expense and it helps you to fulfill your mission I think that outsourcing is a great option.

We get a lot of almost intangible benefits from self managing because it keeps us close to the ground and connected to our local community. Thoughts?


Judy Lind, Kukui Children’s Foundation
The best decision we ever made was to turn the responsibility of dealing with the financial and physical aspects of our center to a professional management company. They have the experience and contacts. That being said I have learned the following:
1. It’s not only the company, it’s the person who is managing the account, so it’s very important to get the right person who will be with you long term
2. Your property manager needs a clear message/guidelines about what they can do on their own and what needs consultation with you. For us, that means anything out of the ordinary in the budget or problems that occur
3. We get comprehensive monthly accounting and “issues” related reports that I can share with our board treasurer and book keeper. That also includes a check register. That way I know what’s going on in case there are other things I want to get involved with.
4.Our manager copies me on all messages to tenants, knows all of them, and comes to our annual holiday party.

She has nothing to do with the programmatic operations, screening new tenants, deciding on space renovations etc. I do all of that. But she does join in their orientation in terms of what she handles e.g. keys, parking, rent payments, etc.

Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me with follow up questions or, if you want, I can send you a copy of her report so you can see what you might expect from a management company.

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