Not only are nonprofits seeing cost savings from sharing space in “nonprofit centers,” many are seeing benefits in the areas of funding and community impact, a new report says.
An analysis of 146 centers by the The NonprofitCenters Network, a program of Tides, found about 86 percent of organizations co-locating with other nonprofits see “significant” improvement in their effectiveness and efficiency.
Some of those benefits come from the ability to afford higher-quality facilities in better locations for as much as 75 percent below market rates, the study says.
Additional benefits come from instances where organizations from different but related fields, such as health clinics, food banks and job-training organizations, come together to offer a one-stop solution for constituents.
Among these types of centers, more than half report they have improved the quality of the services they provide, and almost 40 percent say they are able to serve more people.
Another model brings together organizations that share a similar focus, like the arts or the environment, where members can merge forces where they have similar interests, in the process accomplishing more together than they could separately.
Co-locating also appears to boost members’ visibility, with more than 70 percent of organizations saying they now have greater awareness within the community, and almost 60 percent reporting better visibility with funders.
Perhaps because of these benefits, and because most communities surveyed have only one or two centers but hundreds of nonprofits, long waiting lists exist at most centers.
“This study highlights both a pressing need in our communities and a proven model for solving it,” China Brotsky, senior vice president of Tides, says in a statement. “We hope that public and private sector leaders will take this study and use it as a roadmap for a strategy that really works.”
The study included 146 nonprofit centers.