A new co-working solution in Lawrenceville is helping nonprofits reduce overhead costs so they can spend more of their donor dollars on their missions.

Created with a loan from the United Way of Greater Mercer County, CollaborationCore is a way for nonprofits to share resources, space, and services in an environment that rivals Class A office space.

“This is infrastructure robust enough to support day-to-day business operations, yet affordable,” said Herb Klein, chairman of CollaborationCore and president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Mercer County.

Klein hails from the for-profit sector — mostly management consulting — and saw the value of mobile working. CollaborationCore’s open floor plan and brand new furnishings give tenants and day-renters the ability to reconfigure the space to meet changing needs.

“It’s just good business sense,” he added. “Nonprofits are doing very important work for society, yet often get bottom of the barrel resources. They should have great office space and facilities to reduce costs and improve productivity and better serve our community.”

The United Way of Greater Mercer County lent CollaborationCore the funds to develop the space, monies that will be repaid. After that, all free cash flow will go back into the community; in effect, rent becomes money invested back into greater Mercer County.

“We help non-profits help themselves through a membership-based program,” Klein explained. “A resident member has an office with a key that ranges from $699 to $2,195 a month. They also have access to a great tech platform, and can pay-as-they-need for digital printing, scanning, postage, etc.”

Non-resident members pay $50 per day and come and go as needed. This gives them a professionally appointed workspace, a mailing address, and access to amenities — including the coffee bar. There are no long-term leases for resident and non-resident members. Members of the community may also lease CollaborationCore’s conference space, starting with as little as one hour.

CollaborationCore is very much in line with the unique way the United Way of Greater Mercer County works. Klein emphasizes the relationship between the two is to promote education, income, and good health in the community. Unlike other United Ways that make grants, Greater Mercer County engages non-profits to provide services to the United Way’s programs and then pays them to do so. It’s a for-profit model in a non-profit world — a highly effective and efficient system that’s spawned much-needed initiatives like CollaborationCore.

Local non-profits looking for space or to save precious funds with a more reasonable rent — especially those in the last year of an existing lease — should contact Cheri Durst at CollaborationCore for a tour and a quick analysis to show how your non-profit can cut costs in 2016.

Collaboration Core, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Suite 300, Lawrenceville. 609-429-4177. Cheri @collaborationcore.org. www.collaborationcore.org.

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