4 Ways Nonprofits Can Benefit from Coworking Spaces
By Susana Bruhn, community builder at The Nonprofit Village at 31w31
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Coworking spaces are popping up all over Kansas City, and if you run a nonprofit, you might give one a shot. In 2018, a few of those new spaces were locations, like The Laya – Spa and Coworking Center, designWerx and the Nonprofit Village at 31w31. Like most coworking spaces, they offer dedicated offices and conference rooms, but they also focus on the needs of certain industries and are broadening their reach to serve solopreneurs, startups as well as nonprofits. Oh, and they also aim to offer something a little snazzier than just an empty room with a desk and a chair.
So why should your nonprofit consider a coworking space? Susana Bruhn, community builder at The Nonprofit Village at 31w31, has four great reasons.
Prefer to find out more and network at a huge gathering of coworking spaces? The KC Coworking Alliance is hosting KC Coworking Day on Aug. 9. Click here for more details.
Coworking Is a Growing Trend
The number of coworking spaces globally has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2011, there were 1,130 spaces with 43,000 members. In 2018, coworking membership was projected to top 1.7 million by the end of the year in an estimated 19,000 spaces around the world. And a part of that increase might be because it pays for nonprofits to share infrastructure costs; it’s a leading reason that nonprofits choose to cowork. These cost and time savings can let nonprofits focus more on their mission.
Coworking Members Are Happier
Coworking just isn’t about dollars and cents; it’s also about mood. A 2016 survey found about 90 percent of coworking members were happier after joining a space. And that plays into a common purpose of why nonprofits exist: social good. Shared office space with fellow nonprofits can reduce the isolation and loneliness often experienced with remote work and can reinforce a sense of community.
Coworking Members Are More Motivated
Coworking also has other inherent benefits. That 2016 survey also found more than 80 percent members said they were more engaged and motivated when coworking, about a third said coworking improved their professional success and almost 70 percent said they felt more successful since joining a space. And when you boil down all these numbers, here’s what that could mean: Coworking can provide a clean, calming and conducive work environment, which can be stimulating for nonprofit workers and help them focus.
Coworking Members Collaborate
Being in the same space tends to encourage collaboration. More than 70 percent of those who were part of coworking spaces in a 2017 survey said they collaborated with other members in the past 12 months. For nonprofits, that collaboration can create even bigger change when it comes to social issues. By sharing ideas and resources, organizations can achieve more than they could on their own.
The Bottom Line
Those who work at coworking spaces might see greater benefits because the focus is on community. Especially for clients who have been working at home and in coffee shops, these spaces can offer a flexible, convenient and professional work environment that encourages productivity; separation and balance between work and life; and a strong sense of community.
Mehgan Flynn, manager of the Nonprofit Village at 31w31, says collaboration is a key outcome.
“The type of people working at The Nonprofit Village coworking space is very specific: All are nonprofit professionals or work toward social causes,” she says. “There is a common need to be connected in the community, have access to collaborative opportunities and be efficient with how they use resources. Bringing these dynamic people together under one roof is why our space exists.”
The Nonprofit Village at 31w31 offers three free days of coworking for Nonprofit Connect members. Read more here.