6 Office Rental Tips For Non Profits
One of the biggest differences between a for-profit business and a nonprofit is the lack of start up capital that most nonprofits have. This is a very big problem in its inception because for a nonprofit to be able to get any project off the ground they need a place of operations. And that can be expensive. In a rural area it can be especially expensive, prohibitively so. So what’s a nonprofit to do? Plenty. This article will focus on 6 office rental tips for nonprofits. Some you might have heard of but have not yet explored. Others should be perfectly new to your sensibilities. Just be steadfast in your determination and tenacity to succeed in your nonprofit venture.
1. Look for help in the local community: When the high cost of office space renting is keeping a nonprofit from opening it’s doors, one of the first places to go look for help is right out in the community. Since most all nonprofits are community-driven endeavours, a great place to first look for low cost, extra office space is a school or a church. Most are surely large enough to accommodate the average nonprofit’s needs, and they would be more than willing to extend themselves out for your benefit. You can save thousands per year at one of these places.
2. Consider working your nonprofit right our of your home: Making it a home-based business in the beginning is nothing to be ashamed about. It can even be extremely beneficial. You will be able to keep costs and your overhead down while also saving on the time, hassle and expense of commuting to a place of business every day. You can furnish it with inexpensive items, including all of your office equipment, and save big here.
3. Ask your directors if they have free office space: One of the best places to look is to a member of your board of directors who just may have his own business where he will allow you to rent space on a free or low cost basis. Since you hand picked your board to begin with, you will quite naturally be on a very favourable working relationship with him or her. Most likely, he will have a place of business that’s not too far away from where you need to be most of the time too.
4. Use a real estate broker with non profit experience: If you’re shopping on your own for rental space and you’ve not been very successful, consider securing the services of a competent real estate broker who’s intimately familiar with the specific needs of a nonprofit. Perform your due diligence with these brokers to find the one that suits you best. The best ones will already have locations available that perfectly meet your specific parameters.
5. Look out for grants: They are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of grant programs out there, many of them right up the alley vis-a-vis the needs of nonprofits. Search these out in grant directories you can find at the local library or by accessing online databases. See which ones help out nonprofits in securing appropriate real estate office space. Some of these grant programs will actually partially or fully fund your rental requirements. Others will help offset the cost of office equipment, supplies and overhead such as the electric bill, an internet connection and monthly phone services.
6. Share office space with another organisation: One of the best ways for a nonprofit to save money is to look to share office space with another organisation that already has an existing office. They don’t necessarily have to be another nonprofit. They could simply be any other business that has some extra room for you to share a portion of it at a low cost. You can even offer to barter your services for the payment of rent. If, for example, you have the skill to quickly and adeptly process paperwork or you’re skilled at number crunching, you may offer your bookkeeping or accounting services in exchange for rental payments. Specifically search out business that would best suit your needs and would not be in conflict with your purposes or goals. It probably wouldn’t be wise to attempt to seek out space in a butcher shop or a lumber yard because the environment would be too odorous and loud for you to be able to concentrate on the telephone and in front of your computer. But the back storage room of say a gift shop or an auto parts store would be a very inexpensive and practical alternative to footing the entire bill of an independent, expensive rental all on your own. At least in the beginning months. As you can see, there are several intelligent ways to get around the seemingly insurmountable financial hurdles of getting your nonprofit established and off the ground. Just make wise choices and do your background checks on anyone you happen to consider employing to assist you.
This post was contributed by John who writes reviews and blogs at Office Kitten, one of the UK’s best suppliers of stationery online for businesses.