Create Nonprofit Centers

Where Can You Go To Change The World? Nonprofit Centers

Tides' expertise in nonprofit centers was formed in response to the ongoing difficulties that social change organizations and nonprofits have in finding quality, affordable work and program space. Workspace is often the second largest budget item after salaries. Lack of affordable space has forced dislocation on many nonprofits, both in times of economic boom – due to rising commercial rents – and in times of government and funding cutbacks.

Nonprofit centers are an effective social investment with the ability to provide tenant organizations with shared services and meeting spaces, as well as opportunities for collaboration and cost-sharing to support their missions. These centers also provide hubs for community organizing and economic development. Stable costs and increased visibility create employment opportunities for local residents and support local businesses. To date, hundreds of these centers have been created across the country-regionally and internationally.

The Nonprofit Centers Network

The Nonprofit Centers Network (NCN)  is a nationwide community of nonprofit center leaders, foundations, and professionals from the financial, real estate, and public sectors who are committed to increasing the capacity and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector by developing and maintaining multi-tenant nonprofit centers and other quality nonprofit workspaces.  

Due to an increased demand for ongoing education around shared spaces and because of Tides’ pioneering experience developing Thoreau Center for Sustainability in San Francisco in 1996, Tides facilitated the development of the Nonprofit Centers Network in 2001. For more than 10 years, Tides has provided a home and a living laboratory for the Nonprofit Centers Network.  Drawing from Tides’ experience in developing nonprofit centers, as well as the dedicated work by NCN’s founding Steering Committee, NCN grew from an informal network into a vibrant membership association and capacity building organization. The Nonprofit Centers Network successfully launched as an independent project in 2013.

Related Publications

  • Measuring Collaborations: The Benefits and Impacts of Nonprofit Centers
    The first study to measure the economic, environmental, and community impacts of nonprofit centers. It reveals the value of shared space and services and the keys to meaningful impact.
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