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Saul Ettlin, Thoreau Center for Sustainability
28/Mar/2016

There’s a lot of change brewing in the commercial real estate (CRE) world. From how we work to what a new generation of workers want from their workplace, these shifts are impacting the design and offerings of office space. Some of these trends are maturing (like the open plan) and new ones are coming on the scene (like hackable workspaces). What’s exciting is that much of the new thinking is aligned with the values that are already important to those of us who own and operate social purpose real estate and easily builds on our efforts to develop robust communities while providing affordable, quality workspace.


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Rima Zabian
07/Mar/2016

The role of a board in governing any organization cannot be overestimated. How the members of your board perform can make all the difference. In my experience, one of the most important components in creating and sustaining a healthy well-run co-work space is not only that board members understand what is expected of them in relation to the governance of the organization, but that they are also fully prepared to embrace their role.


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01/Feb/2016

It’s All Business was our theme in January. Our webinar on January 21st with Laura Kozelouzek of Quest Workspaces helped us understand the way for-profit operators view shared space. Executive suites and business centers are the precursors in many ways of mission-driven shared spaces and coworking spaces. We need to learn more about what drives their success and what pitfalls they’ve discovered so we don’t repeat them.


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25/Jan/2016

Did you know that 98% of the nonprofit center have a goal of increasing collaboration among their resident partners? The opportunities presented by working together with your neighbors in shared space are incalculable, but often managers don’t feel like their community is living up to their expectations. To help get groups moving in the right direction, we’ve developed a half-day session called a “Collaboration Kick-Off” to help clarify a group’s goals around collaboration and spark ideas of potential connections.


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11/Jan/2016

Many nonprofit centers I’ve visited do a lot to reduce their carbon footprint, from putting in super-efficient HVAC systems and bio-walls to replacing your trash-can with a recycling bin. Since approximately 20% of office waste is organic matter, the next step for many groups is to start an office composting program. Both centers I’ve worked out of, the Thoreau Center for Sustainability in San Francisco and The Alliance Center in Denver, have run successful composting programs for years. Here are some tips your space.


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04/Jan/2016

According to NCN's 2015 State of the Sector Survey collaboration is a goal that most nonprofit shared space centers share, yet few feel they have achieved the level of collaboration among tenants that they expected. For this reason, I found The Myths and Reality of Nonprofit Collaboration: Observations from Six Years in the Trenches by John MacIntosh, Partner, SeaChange Capital Partners and Lois Savage, President, The Lodestar Foundation interesting and relevant for our network. Although this article deals with nonprofit collaboration outside of the colocation model, I think they highlight many issues that shared space centers face.


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14/Dec/2015

Are we doing what we set out to do? Is this model worth it? Developing evaluation models for shared spaces is currently a hot topic in our community. One of the factors we see that makes this process a challenge is that many centers haven’t taken the time to clarify their mission. When your lease is expiring and you’re in the process of drawing up plans for a new shared space, setting forth a mission for your space can seem like a luxury. Other centers spend too much time wordsmithing their mission statement into something lofty, inspirational, and all too often vague.


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23/Nov/2015

Every so often I benefit from a reminder that Nonprofit Centers Network members are awesomely forward thinking. Recently, this happened while I was talking to member Tom O’Connor from Al Sigl Community of Agencies in Rochester, NY. Al Sigl has been providing high quality work space for nonprofits for 47 years. The organization works tirelessly to accommodate new nonprofits who want to reside at Al Sigl. With so many eager hands knocking at Al Sigl’s door, Tom and I wondered: What’s the draw for nonprofits to inhabit shared work space?


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