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NCN Consulting, glancing back and looking forward

September 24, 2019 by Jackie Cefola0

Over the past year the Nonprofit Centers Network’s consulting team has been working hard to support our members and client organizations while also building our internal capacity. I’d like to take a few minutes to update you about our progress not so much to toot NCN’s horn but rather to ensure that we are on the same page about our current priorities and plans for the coming year.

What has the consulting team been up to lately? In short, a lot. We offered project-based consulting services, coaching, meeting facilitation and customized training opportunities to:

  • Support the development of a new human services nonprofit center
  • Project the financial impact of new shared space within an existing facility
  • Identify priority services within a new shared back-office service network
  • Facilitate discussions to strengthen collaboration within an existing network, and
  • Map existing relationships to strengthen collaboration among tenants and partners within a nonprofit center.

We completed one-hour consulting sessions with many NCN members, reviewing materials, responding to questions and providing resources. We also consulted with non-member organizations, including foundations and capacity builders, fiscally sponsored collaboratives, governmental agencies and existing nonprofit centers. More than one-third of our clients were repeat customers who received consulting services in the past and re-engaged with NCN to support new efforts.

To meet this demand, our consulting team expanded to include all NCN staff members. We were also intentional about creating opportunities for team cross-training and professional development.

What’s coming up for NCN consulting this year? Exciting times, for sure. Our current projects involve feasibility studies for multiple nonprofit shared spaces.

We also see requests for information related to Rethinking Overhead, including requests from established nonprofit centers that received support from NCN in the past and now see potential to share back-office functions among tenant and community organizations.

New demand is surfacing for coaching and meeting facilitation services, with clients seeking on-going support from NCN over longer periods of time, often as their projects move from feasibility planning to development and operations.

In addition to offering these and other consulting services in the coming year, I hope the consulting team will also have capacity to update our marketing materials to better communicate the services we offer and the impacts our clients achieve.

But this said, a conversation will always be the best way to gain information about how our services can support your efforts so always feel free to reach out directly to the NCN team for more information about consulting.

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About Our Blogger:

Jackie Cefola

Jackie Cefola manages the consulting services and shared service offerings of The Nonprofit Centers Network (NCN). Since 2011, she has consulted with NCN clients to achieve meaningful impact through collaboration, co-working, and shared administrative services. Previously, as program manager for the NonProfit Center, a 110,000 square foot multi-sector center in Boston, she helped to develop the center’s many co-working spaces and collaborative programs. She also co-authored NCN’s Guide to Shared Services and facilitated numerous training sessions. She holds an MBA and a Masters degree in Environmental Management from Yale University, where she first learned about industrial ecology and strategies for organizations to intentionally co-locate and share resources. In spare time Jackie volunteers to help collect and distribute clothing and furniture to newly housed families.


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