George Constantine was quoted in the March 2022 issue of The Nonprofit Times on nonprofit organizations shedding property. According to the article, after two years working remotely or hybrid because of the coronavirus pandemic, nonprofits are rethinking their space needs. For some organizations, that means selling their property, leasing smaller spaces, or moving in with roommates.
Constantine said that earlier this year he was at a meeting of CFOs of engineering and scientific societies and nonprofit membership associations. “I can’t tell you how many conversations in the hallways and tables were around this issue,” he said of how the pandemic has impacted the use of office space and property in general. “Clearly, what this experience has taught nonprofit leaders is they probably don’t need the space that they’re locked into having right now.”
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, shrinking and managing expenses is top of mind, Constantine said. “Obviously, the space needs are tied to policies that organizations plan to move forward with and what they expect employees to do. Most nonprofits we’re working with are certainly not going back to a five-day-a-week work arrangement; many are going fully remote.”
Nonprofits are taking a hard look at what their space needs really are, Constantine said. In talking with nonprofits, the prevailing view is that “this isn’t just a blip,” he said. No one can predict the future, but it’s safe to assume some level of hybrid environment will continue well beyond this year.
For organizations that are stuck in a long-term lease, Constantine suggests not assuming that they can’t get out earlier. Many leases will include an opportunity to get out before the end of it, like a termination option, and usually in exchange for certain fees.
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