The Jefferson Center for Learning & The Arts (JCLA) was chartered in 1975, decades before the concept of “multiple tenant nonprofits” had become a buzz word and a national movement in the charitable and philanthropic sector. Our founding members recognized that nonprofit organizations were finding it increasingly difficult to secure and maintain quality workspace that was stable and affordable and also enhanced the mission and operations. The Jefferson Center campus was an inspired concept that provided below-market rate space to nonprofits, and provided a solution to the deterioration of an inner-city neighborhood.
The Case for Multiple Tenant Nonprofits
The vision of our founding members has been validated by a robust national movement to replicate the concept. According to the Kellogg School of Management’s Center for Nonprofit Management, ‘Multi-Tenant Nonprofit Centers’ (MTNCs) are currently serving a diversity of organizations and can be found in a mixture of locales that includes small towns, inner cities, in national parks, on reservations, and in the downtown areas of major cities. The consistent factor is the end result – the nonprofit organizations, the constituents they serve, and the communities at large in which they reside have all benefited from the construction of these multi-tenant centers. The Nonprofit Centers Network (NCN) is a program that provides training and technical assistance for nonprofits and their partners as they create and operate quality nonprofit workspace. NCN, which began with 25 member nonprofit centers 10 years ago, today has more than 250.