Six Wisconsin Nonprofits Will Share Office Space, and Maybe Staff As Well

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August 30, 2011; Source: Wisconsin State Journal | In Madison, Community Shares of Wisconsin will open a new collaborative effort, the Center for Change Project, where nonprofits will not only share office space but will also ultimately share other back office services as well. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that six organizations comprise the initial group: the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation, BadgerStat, Community Shares of Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Women’s Network and the Wisconsin Nonprofits Association.

The Center for Change Project also plans to connect with local businesses. Community Shares director Crystel Anders told the State Journal that the project “goes beyond just sharing a space. It’s about eventually sharing staff and providing professional resources for nonprofits.” Groups will share printers and other equipment but eventually the goal is for them to share staff and volunteers as well.

This isn’t the first effort of its kind. Deborah Linnell documented an innovative collaborative effort in Rhode Island in the Winter 2010 edition of The Nonprofit Quarterly. Is this the future for nonprofits? Do you have any examples of collaboration like this in your community?—Kristin Barrali

  • Mark W. Kidd

    I think there is a lot about the emerging “coworking” model that the non-profit sector should consider. What you’re describing here sound a lot like a coworking space.

  • Roxanne H

    This great new nonprofit venter offering shared facilitrs and back-office services is one of a growing movement of more than a dozen locally-based nonprofit shared services providers and over 250 shared workspaces. Check out The NonprofitCenters Network at to find similar successful organizations across the US and Canada. You’ll also find a recent study on the benefits and community impacts of nonprofit centers.

  • Christopher Johnson

    We at the Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida are in the process of establishing a “shared resources” program of our own right now. Tides has a great “Shared Services Benchmarking Study” white paper here:

  • Chasity Larios

    This is the future of nonprofits. Maximize good, minimize costs.

  • Karen Bassler

    This is not the first example of this type of collaboration in Wisconsin. An evolving cast of nonprofits working on environmental issues has been sharing office space, equipment, ideas and knowledge for several years in Milwaukee, as the Milwaukee Environmental Consortium: