The Nonprofiteer was talking to a friend who had just scored an amazing venue for the fundraiser of which she is chair: a church close to all forms of public transportation and parking, with a youth group willing and able to provide valet and food service and an adult auxiliary willing to take responsibility for the building so her agency doesn’t have to pay for a security guard. A wonderful welcoming space for free–isn’t that what every nonprofit wants?
Whereupon we realized how much time we and all the other nonprofit professionals we know spend trying to find exactly that: a free place to hold the meetings of our tiny all-volunteer association, or to hold the public forum sponsored by our small civic group, or to conduct the fundraiser for our grassroots coalition. Wouldn’t it be great, my friend suggested, if all the nonprofits in our area (Chicago, but the same would be true for any metroplex) pooled our knowledge about who will share space for free under what circumstances?
If we had a venue registry, we could save endless time–and what is time in nonprofits but the only resource we have with which to secure money? Anything which saves one saves the other, for as it is written “A rental fee saved is a grant earned.”
Surely someone with more social-networking capability than the Nonprofiteer could figure out how to set such a thing up (isn’t this the very definition of a wiki?). Or is there one already in Chicago and the Nonprofiteer just isn’t in the (you should pardon the expression) loop?
Thoughts on how other people approach this chronic issue welcomed!