Research and Publications

Community Spaces Network is committed to providing research and publications to better support your organization’s mission and growth.  

Through our many partners across the nonprofit and social purpose real estate sectors, the following materials, research, and publications are available to help promote best practices in social purpose real estate operations and development.

Cover of State of the Sector report 2024

2024 State of the Shared Space Sector Survey

The Nonprofit Centers Network is excited to announce that we are conducting our fourth state of the sector survey! The state of the sector survey, first conducted in 2011 has been and is key to understanding the scope and impact of shared space centers across the US and Canada. It’s also NCN’s most requested resource. Given the changes to commercial real estate over the last four years because of the global pandemic, we see this survey cycle as important as ever. We are excited to publish the results in summer 2024.
read more
Cover of State of the Shared Space Sector report

2019 State of the Shared Space Sector Survey

Our 2019 State of the Shared Space Sector was completed with the help of centers and organizations across North America. We are happy to report that the state of nonprofit centers continues to be strong and they continue to serve your communities well. From financial savings to staff productivity and morale and increased programming, many nonprofits can do more through shared space.
read more
Cover of State of the Sector report 2015

2015 State of the Shared Space Sector Survey

There’s a reason that nonprofits sharing space is becoming “the new normal.” In this report you’ll discover why the number of known nonprofit centers operating in North America has nearly doubled over the last 4 years. Whether you’re a leader of an established or fledgling nonprofit organization, you may want to consider moving into a mission-aligned shared workspace.
read more
state of the sector 2011 cover

2011 State of the Shared Space Sector Survey

In our very first State of the Sector report the advantages of operating out of a shared workspace are shown to be substantial, especially for small to mid-size nonprofits and charities. This report will illuminate how hundreds of nonprofits are scaling smarter and serving their communities better- together.
read more
Strengthening the Safety Net Report cover

Strengthening the Safety Net

Human services nonprofits need specialized information concerning their unique demands and challenges. As a network of shared spaces, we decided to develop a project focused on the client experience at human services centers. Staff interviewed executive directors, or other leaders, at 31 human services centers identified as “one-stop shop” centers.
read more
Managing Collaboration report cover

Managing Collaboration Report

Managing Collaborating is the second of four reports from the State of the Shared Space Sector Survey. In this report we collected data points from 140 nonprofit shared space centers, of varying sizes, structures across the United States. What we found is that no two centers are exactly alike. The document will be extremely useful if you are considering creating a nonprofit center or are an experienced practitioner looking to benchmark your space against a larger community.
read more
Sustainable Finances Report cover

Sustainable Finances Report

As part of the 2015 State of the Shared Space Sector survey, this report found that many mission driven shared spaces are operating as successful social enterprises. At the same time, CSN has heard from many of its members that traditional nonprofit funding streams, like major gifts or foundation grants, are difficult for them to attain. This report helps analyze the practices of the profitable centers to understand how to help those centers that are running a deficit and to help new spaces avoid major pitfalls.
read more
Collaboration Project report cover

Collaboration Project

The Collaboration Project was a peer learning community designed to establish practice standards for nonprofit collaboration in shared space centers. 23 centers throughout the US and Canada participated and the result of this nine-month process is a resource for centers to implement similar approaches, learn from the experiences of peers and make an action plan for furthering collaboration.
read more
Denver Shared Spaces Survey cover

Denver Shared Spaces Survey

Metro Denver has experienced sharp increases in real estate prices along with an increased demand on many nonprofit services. The goal of the 2015 Nonprofit Space Survey was to analyze today’s spaced needs of Metro Denver nonprofits. What we found is that nonprofits successfully responded to the Great Recession post-2008 and took advantage of favorable rates over the last five years. However, the skyrocketing real estate market still impacted nonprofits across Metro Denver.
read more
NCN Canada report cover

Canadian Shared Spaces: Learning Series

In 2015, The Nonprofit Centers Network (NCN) and the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative (SPRE) hosted a series of conversations and research project about the unique needs of Canadian organizations involved in non-profit and mission-based shared space projects. This paper is part of NCN Canada’s Shared Spaces Learning Series initiative, designed to contribute to the national conversation about the roles, capacities and limitations of shared spaces, understood in various contexts as Community Hubs, Social Purpose Real Estate and Non-profit Centres.
read more
Evaluating Success cover

Evaluating Success: Toolkit for Measuring Nonprofit Center Impacts

This tool helps nonprofit centers measure the economic, environmental, and community impacts of their shared facilities. Based on the findings of the nonprofit centers impact study, this toolkit will help you conduct your own evaluation for your center.
read more
shared space and the new nonprofit workplace

Shared Space & The New Nonprofit Workplace Book

Written for nonprofit center leaders and nonprofit executives seeking innovative ways to do more with less, this publication is the first comprehensive guide for nonprofits looking to create shared services, with step-by-step guidelines, case studies, and sample documents.
read more