As doing more with less has become the new normal for nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, budget-savvy nonprofits are wisely teaming up to share resources and services through innovative “shared services” programs.
Sharing workspaces, IT resources, administrative functions like accounting and human resources and other services through a shared services arrangement is a relatively easy – yet highly effective – way for nonprofits to increase their operational efficiencies, lower their operating costs and focus more energy on advancing their core mission and less on back office functions.
When designed and executed effectively, shared services programs also help nonprofits boost their purchasing power and forge collaborations that can lead to program innovation through increased idea-sharing, further helping nonprofits thrive in changing and uncertain markets.
To make it easier than ever for nonprofits to establish shared services programs, Tides is delighted to release the first comprehensive guide for nonprofit leaders looking to create shared services programs, Shared Services: A Guide to Creating Collaborative Solutions. Filled with step-by-step guidelines, case studies, and sample documents, Shared Services draws from the experiences of people across the nonprofit and philanthropic world to help nonprofits build their own successful shared services program. Tides and The NonprofitCenters Network created this guide based on interviews with executives of shared services programs and knowledge we gathered through field research across the United States and Canada. From simple equipment sharing to complex multi-service operations, this guide provides the roadmap to create a successful program.
For any nonprofit that’s looking to trim their budget and expand their capacity this year, Shared Services is available online at http://www.nonprofitcenters.org/shared-services-guide. A discounted early-bird purchase price is available until February 12.
In good times or bad, building efficient nonprofit infrastructure is a critical part of facilitating social innovation, and creating well-run shared services programs can go a long way towards driving increased efficiencies and organizational effectiveness.
So we encourage nonprofit professionals around the country to read Shared Services, provide feedback and let others know about your experiences with creating your own shared services programs. In other words, share!