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Moving Day For Real Estate Venture

By The NonProfit Times - December 19, 2013

The Nonprofit Centers Network (NCN) has left San Francisco, Calif.-based Tides to become a project of Third Sector New England. NCN, a network of nonprofits and philanthropic leaders from the financial, real estate, and public sectors dedicated to creating nonprofit workspace, will open a main office at the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado in Denver as it works to become an independent organization.

“In the coming year, we will continue to support the development of shared nonprofit workspaces, while expanding our focus to the broader field of nonprofit real estate. This strategic shift will enable us to better serve our members and communities across the U.S. and Canada,” said NCN Executive Director Sarah Eisinger. “We plan to become the leading resource for social purpose real estate in North America,” she said.

Real estate is often the largest expenditure for nonprofits, after personnel costs, and has a significant impact on a nonprofit’s long-term financial viability. NCN has developed resources over the years about real estate for nonprofits, including best practices for conducting feasibility studies, selling or purchasing property, managing facilities, fostering collaboration among tenant communities and other activities that require specialized knowledge not readily available in the nonprofit sector.

“Our management, administrative and organizational development services are designed to help groups in all stages of development, including transition to independent status,” said Jonathan Spack, executive director of Third Sector New England and a founding member of the NCN. “We look forward to working closely with NCN in building the field of social purpose real estate,” he said.

“Social purpose real estate is exploding in communities across North America — with arts organizations, healthcare and wellness groups, and entrepreneurs that co-locate in space for a social purpose,” says Andy Johnston, executive director, Loudoun Cares and board chair of NCN’s Steering Committee. “Shared space brings tremendous value and efficiencies that help nonprofits better met their missions, steward their resources in more responsible ways and work across sectors to solve social problems,” he said.

NCN has more than 160 members across the United States and Canada. More than 350 shared nonprofit workspaces exist in North America with another 250 projects in some stage of exploration or development.

“For more than 10 years, Tides has provided a home and a living laboratory for the Nonprofit Centers Network. It grew from an informal network into a vibrant membership association that is well positioned to become a premiere nonprofit real estate development and consulting venture,” Gary D. Schwartz, interim CEO of Tides, said.

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