14 Reasons a Shared Office May be Right for Your Nonprofit
For nonprofit teams, having a place to call home can be a game-changer. But offices can be expensive and nonprofits often end up hopping around from space to space, without securing a long-term home.
Shared offices offer a nice alternative. Here are 14 reasons a shared office may be right for your nonprofit.
1. Flexible Workspace Options
Whether your nonprofit team needs a private office, dedicated desks, cafe-style seating, or some of everything, shared offices have what you need. Many also offer flexible workspaces within the shared space, such as quiet areas, phone booths and community tables.
2. Virtual Mail and On-site Mailbox
When it’s time to go from passion project to formal nonprofit, a shared office can provide you with a much-needed physical address and on-site mailbox. Even if you’re only in the space a couple of days a week, you have a set mailing address. Many shared office spaces also offer virtual mail.
3. Business Amenities are Provided
What if you never had to think about buying the right printer or scanner again? In shared offices, business amenities, including high-quality printers, copiers, scanners, shredding services and more, are provided.
4. Meeting Rooms and Conference Rooms
As your nonprofit grows, chances are good you’ll need a space to meet partners, donors and community leaders, as well as host your own events. Shared offices offer meeting rooms and conference rooms so you’ll never have to hold a business meeting in a coffee shop again.
5. Shared Offices are Comfortable and Welcoming
Shared offices are designed for people to work, connect and collaborate, so they’re generally quite comfortable. Put your team and your community partners at ease by bringing them into a friendly, welcoming space.
6. Choose Your Location
Shared offices can be found everywhere, from urban centers to the suburbs, to small towns. No matter where you are, chances are good you’ll be able to find a shared office nearby.
7. Niche Spaces
Whether your nonprofit is focused on social good, the environment, the arts, local issues or writers, you can likely find a shared office full of like-minded people. There’s a growing number of niche spaces that cater to one type of industry, cause or client.
8. In-house Professional Network
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of working in a shared office is that you have access to an informal, in-house professional network. The people you’ll work around everyday are creatives, law professionals, marketers, programmers, community leaders and more. Whatever you need to further your nonprofit vision and mission, you’ll likely be able to find it in-house or get a quality referral from one of the other members.
9. Professional Development Events
Shared offices, including coworking spaces and business centers, often host events around topics their members will find valuable. Common event topics are: branding, social media, content marketing, Internet security, website development and maintenance, bookkeeping, productivity and well-being.
10. Shared Spaces Offer Affordable Options
Securing a lease on a private office is expensive. Shared offices offer affordable options, from cafe-style seating, to dedicated desks, up to private offices within the shared space.
11. Month-to-Month Commitment
Forget about signing a five-year lease on an office. Shared spaces generally offer a month-to-month commitment so you can secure a private office without taking a big risk.
12. Reduced Overhead and Operational To-Do’s
Shared offices take care of all those things you don’t want to, including wifi, coffee and tea, coffee filters, toilet paper and paper towels. When you join a shared office, you can get these operational to-do’s off your plate and focus on your nonprofit work.
13. Supportive Community
Shared offices are full of engaged, smart people who are generally happy to lend a hand—whether it’s helping you brainstorm a new project, attending your fundraiser, offering advice on marketing materials or just meeting for coffee to help you clarify the direction of your project. This mutual-support is at the heart of great shared spaces.
14. Boost Your Happiness and Productivity
Studies have found that people who work in coworking spaces are happier, more social and more productive. If you need to boost your own engagement and expand your circle of friends and colleagues, give a shared office a try.
A shared office may be just what you need to take your nonprofit to the next level. To get started, find a shared office near you.
Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, community and the future of work. Publications include Shareable, Yes! Magazine and Lifehacker. She’s the author of Coworking Out Loud, an ebook guide to content marketing for coworking spaces. She sends weekly tips and resources to coworking space operators.