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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?


Brandi Stanley
09/Nov/2015

“Shared space” is still a relatively new way to work. Because of it’s “newness,” we just don’t have a lot of formal research or guides to show us how to do it well. At the Nonprofit Centers Network 2015 Building Opportunities Conference in June, I spoke on two panels: The first on Community Animation, where I was joined by several other “animators” from spaces across the U.S. and Canada; and the second, on branding for shared spaces. In those two talks, it became incredibly apparent to me how intertwined community animation and branding really are.


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26/Oct/2015

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, because it’s all about community engagement. There’s no other time of the year where you go out and knock on your neighbors doors – anyone with a porch light on is extending an open invitation. Halloween festivities in the workplace also invite people to reach out to people they don’t know very well and start a conversation, whether it’s an autumn happy hour, a lively costume contest, or simply gathering around the candy bowl in the first week of November.


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