Sharing Office Space Can Boost Nonprofit Effectiveness, Study Finds

The vast majority of nonprofit organizations sharing office space in nonprofit centers report significant improvements in their overall effectiveness and efficiency, a new study from the NonprofitCenters Network, a program of Tides, finds.

Sponsored by the Kresge and Lodestar foundations, the study, Measuring Collaboration: The Benefits and Impacts of Nonprofit Centers, surveyed U.S. and Canadian organizations in nonprofit centers and found that such arrangements provide a range of benefits to the organizations involved, including access to higher-quality facilities in better locations for rents that can be as much as 75 percent below market value. Organizations also benefit from the greater visibility that such centers provide, which in turn leads to greater community engagement, improved access to funding, and enhanced credibility.

As a result, securing space in a nonprofit center can be difficult. According to the study, 80 percent of the centers included in the survey have waiting lists and most have low vacancy rates.

"In the current economic climate, proven cost-effective solutions that benefit dozens of organizations in one city or town are a real win-win," said Tides senior vice president China Brotsky. "This study highlights both a pressing need in our communities and a proven model for solving it. We hope that public and private sector leaders will take this study and use it as a roadmap for a strategy that really works."

"Communities and Organizations Win When Nonprofits Share Resources, Tides Study Finds" Tides Press Release 05/10/2011.