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Karen Hart

Having managed two very different youth focused not-for-profit centres (NFP Centres), one in the UK and one in Australia, for the past 15 years, I was inspired to seek out a better understanding of the critical success factors inherent in models that have performed well in their development and ongoing adaptability, within their local communities. Australia is slowly gaining momentum in the NFP Centre space and an Australian-American Fulbright Scholarship provided the opportunity for me to be based at the Nonprofit Centers Network (NCN), to explore ten of those centres in North America and Canada. Whilst this exploratory research revealed a burgeoning ecosystem of complex arrangements of social purpose real estate, elaborate funding and financing tapestries and interpersonal and professional multidisciplinary stakeholder relationships, driven by an array of missions and visions, the study highlighted clear and apparent themes throughout the NFP Centre’s. The shared experiences that arose out of the discursive interviews with the ten leaders of the NFP Centres provided a conceptual framework from which to create a set of organizing principles that seemed to offer an explanatory model that has utility and application, regardless of purpose, client population, demography and geography. As a result, the P-Model emerged and comprises three primary intersecting and integrated components of people,property and place, that coalesce to strengthen the purpose underpinning NFP Centre’s.

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