Independent Coworking Spaces Lead the Way in Charitable Giving Program

For workspaces that thrive on people-centric communities, their greatest asset is not necessarily space or amenities but the coming-together of members and the mutual thread of amity and support that connects them.

Therefore it’s perhaps not surprising that the goodwill of these spaces frequently extends to charitable giving projects beyond their own four walls.

“By far, the majority of our donors are independent coworking spaces,” says Nate Heasley, creator of social support system Goodnik and co-founder of All Good Work, a workspace platform for social impact organizations.

The All Good Work program is open to any social impact organization anywhere in the world, and pairs these nonprofit causes with seats donated by workspace centers. It’s designed for every type of flexible workspace — regardless of whether they are an independent business center or a nationwide coworking brand.

Yet the majority of space donated to local charities is coming from independent coworking operators.

Since launching last summer, All Good Work has focused largely on New York and Colorado, where approximately 125 seats have been offered to date (as of January 2017).

“The numbers go up on an almost daily basis as more and more spaces come onboard,” explained Nate. “Right now we’ve got around 70 seats in New York from 22 hosts and a further 55 seats in Denver; but this is increasing all the time.”

Currently the Hosts — the workspaces offering places for social organizations — include coworking brands Impact Hub, Knotel and Grind; independent operators Input Lofts and QNS Collective; business centers NYC Office Suites and Office Evolution, and many more.

And while you can’t always put a price on corporate philanthropy, the value of the program from a financial perspective is impressive.

“Based on 125 seats across New York City and Denver, at an average value of $400 per month, we’re looking at a total value of $600,000 a year,” added Nate. “And that number only continues to rise as more centers donate seats. We expect to be at a million dollars worth of donations by this summer.”

For the workspaces giving away seats, the value comes back tenfold in the form of new members from social impact backgrounds who energize the workspace with fresh drive and enthusiasm, not to mention the injection of new skills and perspective. Their presence can often power-up a workspace community. Of course, the charity in question benefits enormously from the support and skills around them; not to mention the workspace facilities, services, and professional environment.

According to Nate, close to 90 social impact organizations have so far applied for space through All Good Work, requesting an average of 3 seats per residency. This equates to approximately 260 seats, which currently outstrips the number of seats on offer from workspace Hosts.

As such, Nate and the rest of the All Good Work team are working to recruit more Hosts to address the imbalance, and are calling on flexible workspace operators in New York City, Denver, and further afield to donate space to the program.

“We’re now in contact with a number of great Hosts in various cities, and we’re looking at launching in new locations very soon,” added Nate. “Currently, our shortlist includes Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, and Seattle.”

As for the social impact organizations they are working to place, he commented: “The diversity spectrum is huge. Right now we’re doing great interviews with organizations involved in mental health, human trafficking, poverty, homelessness, education, veteran support, and more. We’re currently seating Residents in different Host workspaces and more nonprofits are applying for space all the time.

“All Good Work is really gathering momentum, and our Hosts are inspiring other centers to step up and donate space too.

“Whether it’s one seat or a dozen, we welcome any workspace who wants to donate their services to support a social impact organization. We’ve got dozens of approved organizations just waiting for the opportunity and community that a coworking space provides.”

Workspaces interested in joining All Good Work and accommodating a nonprofit organization, or finding out more about the residency process, can visit allgoodwork.org to learn more and apply.