The broad benefits of co-location

November 3rd, 2011

For tenants, fixed long-term leases at affordable rates provide stability and confidence for the future. Meanwhile, cost-sharing for common areas (reception, conference rooms, kitchen, break rooms) and even some administrative functions (I.T., phone systems, human resources) helps reduce their monthly overhead.

-Center Scene: A Newsletter of the Center for Healthy Communities

It’s no secret that the economy is having a negative impact on just about every sector in America. From an insider’s perspective – the nonprofit sector is feeling the crunch as well.

With nonprofits reporting a “mixed bag” in fundraising revenues for 2011 (http://t.co/gUfuqi0G), there has to be a way to help nonprofits make the best use of their operational dollars.

This is where the benefits of co-location come in. When nonprofit programs have the opportunity to work in a shared work environment, the benefits to the nonprofits range from financial to collaborative. These benefits extend even further to the clients who receive services from the nonprofits.

Think about it, if a nonprofit can reduce overhead costs through reduced rent, sharing of utility costs, and sharing of common areas, a higher percentage of expenses can go into program costs. Additionally, when the nonprofits work together in a shared space, program staff have the opportunity to share ideas, collaborate on projects and refer clients for complete services.

At Deschutes Children’s Foundation, we see these benefits every day. 26 nonprofit agencies work out of our four community campuses. This collaborative effort results in over $800,000 of annual savings to the nonprofits who provide services to over 10,000 clients on the campuses alone (this last metric does not take into account the clients who receive services off-site).

There is a growing movement in co-location within the nonprofit industry, and we support this growth. Having experienced the benefits firsthand, we know that this is a way to increase nonprofit efficiency while making the best use of the donations on which the nonprofit programs rely.

 


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