The Timing for a Non-profit to Invest in Facilities
When does it make sense for a non-profit organization to pour energy and resources into a facility? This question is pondered by many expanding organizations as they are developing great programs and witnessing the impact on families and communities they engage with. The economic challenges of the last decade have further challenged boards and staff to pursue all other options for hosting activities. This creativity and resourcefulness is to be applauded and there is great merit in maintaining donors focused on executing activities rather than operating buildings. Yet, there comes a time when the provisional measures and rented facilities must be evaluated in view of the vision and mission of the organization.
Woven into the small city of Clarkston, Georgia, Friends of Refugees has developed a series of programs that assist relocated refugees making a new home in the United States after years displaced from their home country in provisional camps. With over 10 years serving thousands of refugees, the organization is stepping out to build a facility that will expand and strengthen the diverse programs equipping these new citizens to participate and flourish. The Jolly Avenue Development Center includes 20,000 square feet of activity space located in the heart of apartment complexes housing 100’s of families in this relocation program.
The work of a vast technical team of professional volunteers alongside Friends of Refugees bring an abundance of innovative ideas that will not only make this a great facility for its users, but also its owners. The project objectives include developing a low cost operating facility that addresses long term maintenance considerations and energy consumption. The use of reclaimed building materials and refurbished furnishings bring cost-savings to the construction budget. Deep relationships with corporations through their job placement program bring great promise for donations of building materials.
The organization is stepping out after a decade of climbing up. The anticipation of where these steps of faith will lead is inspiring an entire community to participate with the understanding that we all can flourish.