As COVID-19 continues to reek havoc on the budgets of Nonprofit Organizations, many are looking for ways to cut overhead costs while still retaining funds for programming and continuing the mission of the organization. One way to do this is to utilizing a Coworking Space, which have been growing in popularity over the last several years, and can be found within a 20 minute drive from most populated areas. Here are just a few benefits that becoming a member of a Coworking Space can provide your nonprofit organization.
- A Coworking Space Can Help Your Nonprofit Save Money– Rent and Mortgages can be expensive, not to mention the cost of maintenance, utilities and all of the other ongoing costs that come along with having your own office. Coworking spaces provide a lot of the perks of having your own office such as providing Secure WIFI, private meeting rooms, printing, a kitchen, and even a professional address. These services can be had usually for a flat monthly rate, which could save your organization a lot of money in ongoing costs. In fact locally, the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana have started to utilize coworkingspaces to save money on overhead so they can spend more on programming. Level Two Inc is one of the coworking spaces that the Girl Scouts have utilized to save 6 figures annually!
- A Unique Perspective for Your Nonprofit – Not only do Coworking Spaces come with printing and WIFI, but their best attribute is their built in community. This community is comprised of individuals from many different backgrounds with all kinds of expertise. With entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote employees and more, this community can help your team members by providing unique perspectives and refreshing point of views. Community members also can serve as a impromptu focus group when your nonprofit is dealing with a tough issue or updating marketing materials. There is often a feeling of collaboration and comradery between members of a coworking space, as we all want to see each other succeed.
- An Expanded Network for Your Nonprofit- While the community at a coworking space can provide unique perspectives, they can also provide your nonprofit with new donors or potential volunteers and Board Members. Since the community members often come from diverse backgrounds, they often have completely different networks they associate with. As your organization grows alongside the other businesses in the space, the relationships will tend to grow as well, which can lead to them buying into your mission and sharing it with their networks. In fact in a 2015 Study , 82% of the members of coworking spaces felt like they had expanded their professional network while 79% said it had expanded their social network.
- Your Team Members Will Be Happier and More productive– Even before the pandemic, the trend of remote work was growing. Purpose and flexibility have become more important than salary. These trends along with technology gains have lead to employers allowing more and more employees to work remotely. And while remote work can be great, it can also feel isolating, which is something we all have discovered in 2020. This feeling of isolation is much less present in remote workers who work out of coworking spaces. The 2015 study sited previously reported that 89% of the respondents said they were happier after joining a coworking space, while 83% were less lonely and a full 78% said that working in the coworking space “kept them sane” (they must have had young kids at home). These social effects also had a productivity benefit, 84% of the coworkers surveyed said they were more engaged and motivated when coworking, 69% said they feel more successful since joining a coworking space. A happy employee is a productive employee!
- It Can Give your Nonprofit a Presence in New Markets – For growing nonprofits, coworking spaces can serve as satellite offices for much less cost or commitment. Coworking Space contracts are often monthly or annual contracts, so if you would like to try out some test markets for your services, you can do so without too much opportunity cost. It also will show that your organization is embracing current trends in the marketplace and is wise about spending on overhead. Also, older organizations may have a desire to reduce costs or footprints of satellite offices while maintaining some type of physical presence, which could be done by grabbing a corporate membership to a coworking space in that community.
So Is a Coworking Space Right for Your Nonprofit? While we have discussed 5 of the potential benefits, there are a couple of drawbacks to a coworking space. First off, coworking spaces are shared, and while this gives you access to a wonderful community of diverse people full of unique perspectives, there are limits on privacy and storage space. We have found though, that there are a few ways around this. First off, as more items are going to the cloud, becoming a paperless nonprofit will help you become more sustainable as an organization. Second, while coworking spaces may not have much storage space, storage units are much more cost effective than private offices. Finally, while privacy may be an issue, most coworking spaces have private meeting rooms that can be booked ahead of time. These rooms can serve as the privacy you need for a committee or Board Meeting.
Coworking spaces are great, and can provide your Nonprofit with incredible benefits, and while the overhead cost savings are tangible and REAL, the best benefits you get are the social aspects.
If you have any questions about our Coworking Space, do not hesitate to call us at 317-932-0369 or email me at John@LevelTwoCoworking.com.