Why shared services?

The Nonprofit Centers Network is happy to announce the Upcoming release Rethinking Overhead: Daring to Share Resources Preview, a new on-line publication designed to help you consider why shared back office services could be fit for your organization.*

Why are we asking you to think about shared services?

As a sector, we need innovative strategies that support nonprofit organizations to access essential overhead services. As nonprofit center developers and operators, we understand the power of collaboration and the potential for shared services to add value to shared spaces. As organizational leaders, we know that our operations gain strength and resiliency through high-quality back office services. And as mission-based practitioners, we want to focus our time and effort on mission-based activities.

Sure, this all sounds great in theory but what are the real reasons why organizations participate in shared services? To answer this question, the NCN team asked the leaders of 12 organizations (six service providers and six clients/partners/members/projects) to tell us their shared services stories.

Roxanne Hill, Executive Director of Wonderscope Children’s Museum, described her experiences in accessing shared services with SupportKC, “When we started, we were a small organization and could not bring on the accounting capacity… [Support KC’s accounting service] was more cost effective than hiring someone and it gave us a depth of expertise that there was no way we could have had or pay for.”

Ann Gaasch, Executive Director of FamilyWise Services and a MACC member spoke about her organization’s access to shared services, “We choose MACC because it’s not just a vendor organization, it’s really a collaboration… with much more of a back and forth. There are a set of shared expectations and shared responsibilities which make us better in the end than we would be alone.”

See Rethinking Overhead for full video interviews with Ms. Hill, Ms. Gaasch and four other leaders of organizations that access shared services.

In addition to these video interviews, Rethinking Overhead provides six chapters describing strategies for sharing back office services along with six case studies of organizations that provide shared services. Discussion questions are included to help the reader better understand organizational needs and potential opportunities.

Speaking for the NCN Consulting team, we are so excited for the release of Rethinking Overhead and we look forward to continuing to support your organization’s shared services efforts.

*Not sure what “shared services” are? See last month’s blog for a detailed description of shared services based on NCN’s latest research and experiences in the field.


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