Writer / Kara Kavensky Reibel • Photography / Provided
In speaking with nonprofits who are members of these co-working spaces, they do not don’t get as much out of the fellowship and collaboration as the members of for-profit businesses. Steven Shattuck of Bloomerang, a SaaS (software as a service) platform for nonprofits, felt there was opportunity for a co-working space for nonprofits to reap the benefits of working in close quarters.
“There are few people to talk to about putting your Board together and how are you attracting donors,” states Shattuck of a few of the challenges that nonprofit startups face.
Launch Cause is located on the 2nd floor of the Bloomerang building at Fort Ben. Built for company expansion, the 2nd floor was vacant until Shattuck proposed his own startup, a co-working space for nonprofits, which are the clients that Bloomerang serves.
After negotiating the details and the build-out, Launch Cause became a reality. They will cap their membership at seventy-five nonprofit organizations. The build out includes 14 private offices and 22 cubicles. Prepared for mid-to long-term commitments, the Launch Cause space is attractive to multiple stages of nonprofits, whether a startup or established
The hope is to have strong layers of experience levels so that younger organizations will be mentored by the more established ones. Their mission is to create more of an ecosystem for a diverse population of organizations.
There are only a handful of nonprofit-focused co-working spaces across the country.
“Indiana is one of seven states nationwide without a nonprofit trade association. We’re in desperate need of a place that encourages collaboration and training among the sector and Launch Cause is a great step in that direction,” states Zionsville resident and Brackets for Good Executive Director and Co-Founder Matt McIntyre. “It’s a big gap in our state’s philanthropic sector and Brackets For Good is happy to play a small part supporting it too.”
Creating a Nonprofit Association is a dream of Shattuck and McIntyre.
“Overhead grants”are a dirty word in the nonprofit sector. By providing a shared space to work from, with other like-minded people around, there’s a built-in supportive network of people who speak the same language and deal with the same issues.
“It’s no different than the reason why co-working spaces have been created by programmers,” says Shattuck. “Nonprofits are a group of individuals whose company structure is different than that of a for-profit business model, therefore the conversations are different.”
There are many nonprofits located downtown Indianapolis and word is spreading among these that Launch Cause may be a fun second location closer to home, especially when not lobbying.
“If someone works from home or even downtown and wants to meet a major donor for a meeting or hold a Board meeting, we are an ideal location,” shares Shattuck. Membership isn’t required for booking an event space or a meeting.
“Wouldn’t it be great if Launch Cause evolved to have legs of its own, so that when Boomerang outgrows their space on the lower level and needs to take over this floor, Launch Cause will be able to make it on its own as a stand alone co-working space?” asks Shattuck.
Is there any reason to believe that it won’t? For more information, please visit launchcause.org.