Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Benefit of Sharing

An excerpt from research into the benefits of shared spaces by community, arts and others...
TROY, Mich. – When the Michigan Nonprofit Association, Michigan Association of United Ways and the Food Bank Council of Michigan move into new quarters in the state capital this fall (2011), they will be part of a growing trend: nonprofits co-locating under one roof. The nonprofits’ headquarters in Lansing, Mich., will be among more than 250 such centers in the United States and Canada.
Co-location centers come in all shapes and sizes. Some provide support such as bookkeeping, information technology and print and mail services in addition to office space. Brotsky cites a few examples:
  • Arts Court in Ontario is a historic landmark building owned by the local municipality. A hub for Ottawa artists and audiences, Arts Court is home to a consortium of 26 arts and cultural organizations that save thousands of dollars a month in rent by sharing office and rehearsal space.
  • The Alliance Center in Denver is home to 27 nonprofits. Half of those tenants work in the environmental field. The center and its tenants have helped pass more than 100 pieces of sustainability-related state legislation in just two years.
  • Children & Family Services Center in Charlotte, N.C., is a nonprofit center with 11 organizations co-located to better serve the children and families. In addition to coordinating services, the center has expanded into shared back-office services including information technology, human resources and finance staff.

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