The concept of nonprofit centers is relatively new. So it makes sense that most people have never heard of them or don’t quite understand them. More nonprofit centers are being built across North America right now and for good reason: they work.
Serve Denton is a nonprofit center. In fact, our building on Loop 288 makes us one of the largest nonprofit centers in Texas. Still, you might drive right by us every day and not know what it is that we do here.
So in this blog post, we are going to answer …
What exactly is a nonprofit center and why does Denton need one?
What are nonprofit centers?
In short, they are one-stop shops.
Nonprofit centers allow multiple nonprofits to office under one roof and provide an array of services in one location. Nonprofits save money by paying less in rent, which means they can do more to help the people they exist for. According to The Nonprofit Centers Network, a typical partner of a nonprofit center saves $25,000/year and over half see stronger revenues.
“The Nonprofit Centers Network defines a nonprofit center as any building where two or more nonprofits intentionally share space for mutual benefit. A typical nonprofit center is a 35,000 square foot facility, housing 12 agencies and serving 250 clients weekly.”
Nonprofit centers are not direct service providers, but they help those who do provide services. For example, you might think of Serve Denton as a mall of social services; one location where someone can find help for a variety of needs.
Not every nonprofit center houses social service agencies; they can house organizations that focus on a wide variety of services—such as the arts, animals and strictly faith-based groups — but what they have in common is nonprofit centers help partners do more of what they do best.
This is the kind of collaboration that can improve lives.
Collaborative, Comprehensive Care
Nonprofit centers also facilitate collaboration.
“For example, a person seeking permanent housing may also have mental health, job training or food security needs. One nonprofit may not be proficient in all of those areas. Many clients need a system of care.” — The Nonprofit Centers Network
Nonprofit centers exist as that system of care.
Since multiple nonprofits office under one roof, they can walk clients from their office to several other nonprofits to help provide comprehensive care to those in need.
How this will work:
When a child has suffered abuse, they first must tell their story to a trusted adult who then begins the process of helping this child. The child is then served by CPS where they must tell their story again.
Survivors of child abuse then have a SANE exam performed by a medical professional that usually takes place at an offsite doctor’s office where they have to tell their story of trauma for a third time.
The process is long and drawn out, and every time the child tells their story, the trauma increases.
With HSNT and CACDC officing together, this child will tell their story to a safe counselor while law enforcement investigators listen in a neighboring room out of the child’s site.
The counselor then walks this child through a private hallway to the exam room at HSNT. The counselor recounts this child’s story to the nurse who then performs the SANE exam.
The process happens immediately, and this child only has to tell their story once. This is the kind of collaboration that can help decrease the amount of trauma a child experiences, and in the end, improve their quality of life in the long-run.
We are so excited for this collaboration to begin next year!
Why does Denton need a nonprofit center?
Denton is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. With a current population of ~900,000, Denton is projected to have a population of 2.3 million by the year 2050.
That is a 155% population increase in 30 years. And the needs continue to become greater.
There are 8 cases of child abuse every day (2,900/year) in Denton County.
20,547 children in Denton County are living in poverty and 9,725 are medically uninsured.
15% of Denton County (125,432 people) have limited or uncertain access to food.
These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg and will only become worse as Denton grows.
On top of these numbers, there are 4,462 registered nonprofits in Denton County. Finding help can be difficult when there are so many options. Not every nonprofit has the same amount of resources or capacity to meet people’s needs. It’s also not always easy to pick up on the nuances in the scope of different nonprofit’s work. If trying to find help is overwhelming, many people might never receive the assistance they need in order to become self-sufficient.
Many nonprofit centers like Serve Denton seek to make finding help an easy, accessible and welcoming experience.
By saving nonprofits money, more people are impacted. By housing nonprofits in a single location, more people can receive accessible services. By fostering collaboration, more people can receive comprehensive care. We can see a different story be told in Denton County through a nonprofit center.
We want to see Denton County be a place where everyone can find help and become self-sufficient. By working together and all of us doing our part, we can make that vision a reality.