DickersonBakker Blog

DB&A in the News: A “Nonprofit Mall”

Brent Hafele from Dickerson, Bakker & Associates is involved in an exciting new project that was recently featured in a story in the Northland News. Check out the full article here.

The community of Northland, OH, suffers from higher than average rates of unemployment, poverty, and crime. There are also over 30,000 immigrants and refugees in the greater Columbus area, so nonprofit agencies are working around the clock to provide much-needed services.

But one major barrier stands in their way: the distance between agencies. Most clients of Northland nonprofit agencies also receive services from four other agencies. Many cannot afford cars, so they have to spend hours taking the bus or walking between organizations. This not only wastes time that could be spent earning money and building self-sufficiency, but it results in nonprofits duplicating the services of other agencies in an attempt to save clients time and money. This fragmented system is characterized by inefficiency, redundancy, and unmet needs.

Brent is responding to these issues by helping the Northland Nonprofit Alliance craft a custom solution to this problem: a “nonprofit mall” that will serve as a one-step shop for community services. By gathering local nonprofits at a single location, organizers seek to improve coordination and make it easier for residents to access multiple services. Agencies that provide housing assistance, food, clothing, furniture, literacy education, job preparation, placement, and support, entrepreneurial development, domestic health and wellness care, and legal assistance will all be located in one convenient, retail mall-like location, saving clients time and money. The nonprofit mall will also foster collaboration at the client level and allow nonprofit leaders to regularly share ideas, develop multi-agency projects, and reduce back-of-house expenses.

Brent leading the Northland Nonprofit Alliance through the business planning process. We have also been assisting the effort by providing expertise in city planning and marketing efforts, which are to be followed up with a capital campaign. Organizers anticipate a three-year process to get the mall off the ground, and Dickerson, Bakker & Associates is excited to be on board!

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