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The mission of the SF LGBT Center is to connect our diverse community to opportunities, resources and each other to achieve our vision of a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBT people and our allies. Our four priorities are to: >Foster greater opportunities for people to thrive; >Organize for our future; >Celebrate our history and culture; >Build resources to create a legacy for future generations.


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22/Jul/2019

I am continually inspired by the work of shared spaces across North America. The best way to share the message is to see it. Every time I travel, I seek out amazing spaces that support social change. But sometimes, travel isn’t in the cards. Here are three spaces you can visit virtually from our desktop through these videos:


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Our mission is to host, inspire, and catalyze social change in the Spokane region. We create and maintain a beautiful collection of brick and mortar environments that enhance connectivity and human dignity. We have a campus of six buildings, starting with the Community Building our pioneer restoration project on Main Avenue. It provides beautiful, affordable office and gathering spaces to local nonprofits and serves as hub for community action. The old Saranac Hotel provides more affordable office and gathering spaces for nonprofit and businesses alike and operates on some of the cleanest and greenest technologies in the Inland Northwest. The member-owned Main Market Co-op benefits Spokane's people, environment, and robust local food system and the Saranac Commons is an open-concept food and retail accelerator with informal meeting, gathering, and study spaces for public use. In all of our spaces we hope to serve the whole person. That means having access to good healthy food, art, welcoming spaces to work, and generally building an inclusive community that knows each other and cares for one another. To that end, we host meals, happy hours, professional development series, and parties regularly to help support the relationships here and to build new ones.


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Brad Wood, River Valley Resources, Madison, IN
08/Jul/2019

We are excited that today’s blog author will be featured as one of 8 presentations at this year’s Sharing Innovation 2019. Like what you read? Register today at www.nonprofitcenters.org/sharing

Stop, collaborate and listen – more than just the lyrics to a popular song from the ‘90s, the Clearinghouse of Jefferson County Indiana has taken these words to heart. Since its inception in 2007, the Clearinghouse team has been through a series of peaks and valleys, always focused on the end goal of creating a larger network of social change. Created as a multi-tenant facility where workforce development entities and community agencies live and work under one roof, the Clearinghouse was the brainchild of River Valley Resources (RVR). Originally founded to provide workforce development services, RVR’s mission has grown to include a variety of services to help individuals become self-sustaining. The organization currently provides education and training services in 17 Indiana counties and employs more than 80 people.

These three words – stop, collaborate, and listen – have been an integral part of RVR’s process to create and sustain a vision of building a network of community partners all working together to help individuals become self-reliant.

It seems counter-intuitive that the process starts with the word stop. But over the years, we have learned that it is by stopping to assess what’s around us and responding accordingly that true magic begins. Sometimes, in such a large organization with multiple services, we can get so caught up in what we are doing as individuals that we don’t stop to recognize where others can add value. It is by practicing the pause that organizations discover there is more than enough if we all sit at the same table.

Stopping also shifts focus from a singular mission to one that is expansive and eliminates the duplication of efforts. Because we have practiced the art of stopping to collaborate and listen, our relationships are non-competitive, holistic, and client centric. We have a deep knowledge and understanding of what each member of our team provides, allowing us to link clients to the services that best meet their needs. We put this in practice by holding a monthly Clearinghouse meeting where each team is represented and has a voice. We use this time to talk about upcoming programs, events, and new partnerships that are mutually beneficial to the mission of assisting clients in becoming self-dependent.

As important as it is to stop, it would be pointless without a genuine focus on collaboration. It is one thing to share space with other organizations involved in similar work. However, it is another thing entirely to set the ego aside and approach each conversation from a place of needing to understand the perspective of the other party. When we can free ourselves from our ego, it opens up a whole new channel to see a clearer picture of the work we are all part of. This clear picture allows us to see how all of the pieces fit and how we are all connected as agents of change.

A perfect example of this is something we call the Madison Model. In Madison, we have a female correctional facility that focuses on re-entry. We sat down with their administrators and the local community college to find a way to integrate these women into our community during their pre-release. Through listening to their needs, we developed a transitions model that helps them learn job readiness skills and earn a certification in high wage, high demand occupations. This prison partnership extends to helping feed hungry kids through the Summer Meals program, and is the only one in the nation that has a partnership with a correctional facility. The women volunteers love giving back to the community and one said, “I love volunteering because I know my kids receive free summer meals back home.”

This collaborative effort would not have been possible without the patience of listening. These out-of-the-box ideas can only come to fruition when we are not dismissive of things that have never been done before. As we teach our students in the transitions class, effective communication utilizes three strategies to positively address issues and nurture a relationship of equals – communicate purposefully, communicate honestly, and communicate responsibly[1]. We have found that listening, when paired with this style of communication, leads to our most successful projects.

It’s easy to say all this, but practicing it is another story. This is especially true in rural communities where resource scarcity is a reality. But as we continue to grow our network, we realize that we don’t have to do this work alone. It is a beautiful thing that we can focus on our piece and trust that our partners will continue to do their part well too. There is a quote by Brene Brown that says, “Opposite of scarcity is not abundance, it’s simply enough.” When we stop, collaborate, and listen we don’t have to solve the problems of the whole world at once. We do what we can with what we have and it is simply enough.

[1] “Employing Interdependence.” On Course: Study Skills Plus, by Skip Downing, Wadsworth, 2016, pp. 135-162.


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The Community Partners Center seeks to provide a professional office space environment where its tenants and guests are encouraged to collaborate, explore and develop synergies among themselves and other community businesses and organizations that support their success in providing the highest caliber of programs and services in the most cost-effective manner possible. Based in a suburb of Philadelphia, the Community Partners Center currently houses six nonprofit tenants.


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28/May/2019

NCN works with clients in a variety of ways, including though coaching. Recently, I worked with a group who was developing a full cost budget for their space for the first time. When you’re doing this kind of work, you need a few concepts in your back pocket. What’s a full cost budget? That’s a budget that looks at the entire picture of an organization, not just a portion of it. It includes all of the unsexy overhead costs that we need to be effective, like liability insurance, cleaning, grounds maintenance, and more. All too often in the nonprofit sector, we only look at what it costs to run a particular program, and we ignore all the other costs that aren’t up front. One concept you need is the idea of direct costs vs. indirect costs. Direct costs are those expenses that you need to spend for a specific purpose. If you’re making a meal, the tomatoes, pasta, meat, and spices are your direct costs. However, your meal won’t be very flavorful if you dump them into a pot uncooked. You need a stove in a kitchen with running water. Not to mention plates and forks! All these other things should be accounted for as “indirect costs” because you need them for making all your meals, not just your delicious pasta.


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Centrally located within Sutton, a growing community within Georgina, the Town of Georgina purchased the decommissioned Sutton Public School in 2011. Since then, the Town's multi-million dollar investment towards the renovation of Phase 1 of The Link finished in July 2015. 15,000 sq.ft. now houses a multi-sector service centre that addresses various community challenges, provides a unique collaboration platform and, because of Georgina's geographic size, has reduced the difficulty of accessing programs and services now all in one location. The Link has multiple tenant organizations operating full-time, short-term rental & programming spaces such as a large Event Hall, state of the art Commercial Teaching Kitchen, two meeting rooms and a beautiful 6 acre backyard located centrally in the town.


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Bronson Centre is a 45,000 ft2 community facility, nestled into the heart of downtown Ottawa, the capital of Canada. We have up to 40 permanent, not-for-profit tenants, resident in our building at any one time. On a day rental basis we have served 100’s of associations and cultural groups for almost 25 years. Our charity was founded in 1996, the same year that we were invited to re-purpose the use of an old high school. As a solid, revenue positive organization (and wholesome example of a healthy social enterprise !) we purchased the building in 2017. Our commitment is to enhance and strengthen our role as a dynamic shared space facility for the next 25 years. Our core mission is to provide affordable rents and administrative and cultural hub services to those who in turn serve the needy, the poor, and arts and cultural communities of our region.


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The 7 Corners Collaborative Building opened in 2018, and is now serving as a hub for services for individuals experiencing disability. The building is owned by Community Vision and serves as its headquarters. However, there are five other nonprofits that provide an array of services to the disability community - ensuring that visitors to the building will leave with more information and resources than when they entered. The 7CCB was also designed using the principles of Universal Design, creating a the most barrier-free space possible.


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Carlie Kuban and Pat Smith
30/Jan/2019

December 20th, 2018 marked the culmination of 21 months of effort for Serve Denton and three of our partner agencies: Health Services of North Texas, Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County and Denton Community Food Center. We closed on a $9.5 million deal through the New Markets Tax Credit program that will enable each agency to accomplish strategic goals that may never have been achieved by the organizations working independently. Health Services of North Texas (HSNT) will have a full-service clinic with a pharmacy in the zip code where most of its patients reside. Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County (CACDC) will triple the size of its Denton office and collocate with law enforcement—a similar setup to its Lewisville center. Denton Community Food Center (DCFC) will triple the size of its space while improving its intake and service delivery methods. Brené Brown, in her book Dare to Lead, defines a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas and dares to develop that potential.  She makes the point that when we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We know that power grows when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when necessary to do good work.


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