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