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Pat Smith, Founder and CEO Serve Denton, Denton, TX NCN Steering Committee Member
29/Jul/2021

When seasons of severe challenges hit your community, where will you turn? Community resilience is best done at the local level, informed by the direct interactions between citizens, government, nonprofits, education, churches, and businesses. Nonprofit centers such as Serve Denton are evidence of this. It’s a one-stop shop that offers colocation and networking to ensure people who are in need in Denton County can easily find help. Now more than ever, it's crucial for communities to initiate a forward-thinking approach to growing resilient communities. Our communities rely on this planning of meeting current and future needs to sustain their resiliency. The adage is true: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


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The Center for Nonprofits @ St. Mary’s is the largest nonprofit center in North America -- with over 300,000 square feet of facilities on 13 acres. We house 57 nonprofit organizations on the property. We are a multi-partner organization that offers health, education, and human services to people living in Northwest Arkansas. Our focus is to provide below-market-rate leases for nonprofit organizations in spaces that encourage collaboration and allow easy public access for services. The Center for Nonprofits @ St. Mary’s provides increased capacity for these organizations through additional spaces like classrooms, meeting rooms, plus building amenities, as well as facility support services.


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SVCreates seeks to address the signficant challenges arts organizations face in finding affordable, permanent space in Silicon Valley by championing a distributed network of shared, multi-tenant facilities which bring arts groups and artists together to share resources and build community. SVCreates First Street Arts Hub is a 7500 SF open floor plan office space shared by six arts organizations and creatives and includes a live streaming studio (installed during COVID) for use by San Jose Jazz and others.



Last month, NCN launched our Regional Chapters meetups with 10 chapters across the US and Canada. The theme that I heard over and over again in this first meetup - community. At the most basic level, the Nonprofit Centers Network is a community of people who envision a world where every nonprofit has access to a quality workspace and quality infrastructure to deliver on their mission. In our 10 Regional Chapter launches, I saw 10 different regional communities start to come together to learn from each other, and share how they create and support their own communities in their nonprofit centers.


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ISSofBC is one of the largest immigrant-serving agencies in Canada, with a national and international reputation in the field of migrant issues and services for immigrants and refugees. Every year, ISSofBC supports more than 20,000 people with a broad range of services through 14 offices located in Metro Vancouver and across BC. Streamlined access to care is a major need among newcomers, especially those with significant language, cultural and financial barriers. ISSofBC has had a long-held vision to address this need. With the support of selected community organizations with shared values, as well as funding support from government and the private sector, ISSofBC opened the ISSofBC Welcome Centre in Vancouver in 2016. The Centre houses 58,000 sq ft of residential units and support services delivered by ISSofBC and co-located community organizations including the VanCity Credit Union, Vancouver Association of Survivors of Torture (VAST), Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society, the Lower Mainland Urgent and Primary Care Centre and the Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic. Building on the success of this model, ISSofBC opened the ISSofBC Welcome Centre in Surrey in 2019.


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Our mission at Bookr is to empower nonprofits to use their data more efficiently - to tell better stories with data, obtain additional grant funding, and optimize existing funds. Bookr is both a service and a technology, with an emphasis on service. We are here to support your team and your organization in its efforts to optimize growth and impact.


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The CF Campus opened in January of 2019 as a shared space for community advancement in Tucson, Arizona. Our nonprofit campus spans more than 24,000 square feet across three buildings with a central courtyard. The CF Campus includes short-term private offices, long-term suites, drop-in work spaces, mailboxes, multiple conference rooms, common areas, and event spaces. CF Campus was created by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA)whose headquarters are located on the second floor. Along with CFSA, there are more than fifteen nonprofit organizations that rent office space or utilize mailbox services.


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IFF’s mission is to strengthen nonprofits and the communities they serve by providing leadership, capital, and real estate solutions. We are a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income communities and people with disabilities. Key to our success has been a deep sense of purpose, a broad perspective, and a relentless focus on achieving positive results. Social return can coincide with financial return. We help clients from every sector, including human service agencies, health centers, schools, housing developers, and grocery stores. Our staff of more than 100 work from our Chicago headquarters, and we also serve the Midwest from six regional offices: Indianapolis, IN; Detroit, MI; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Columbus, OH; and Milwaukee, WI. IFF is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the largest nonprofit CDFI in the Midwest.


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Shared Spaces – A Center for Nonprofit Collaboration, owned and managed by the Mankato Area Foundation (MAF), opened its doors in 2015 with a full roster of long-term tenants. Located in the heart of City Center Mankato, Shared Spaces' goal is to raise the visibility and professionalism of the local sector. As a hub of nonprofit activity, our center is a space where organizations share resources, easily connect and interact with each other, and host volunteers and stakeholder meetings throughout our various conference rooms.


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Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being is a community action tank. Our mission is to build power to advance child well-being in the St. Louis region by strengthening alliances for child-friendly public policy, increasing citizen contact with policy makers, positioning youth and organizers to move systems and engaging faith communities in child advocacy. Deaconess Center on average hosts more than 15,000 child advocates, civic leaders and community organizers per year in more than 600 gatherings focused on children's policy. Meeting space is granted at no cost to groups and convenings focused on shifting public policy for children aligned with Deaconess’ vision and values.


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