Money & Business

Daily Buzz: Time to Downsize Your HQ?

By / Jan 29, 2019 (BrianPIrwin/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

The prominent Newseum is moving as part of a massive real estate deal. Its reasons for doing so might be useful for associations getting squeezed by real estate costs. Also: A five-step strategy to thoughtful webinars.

Sometimes, your headquarters’ location doesn’t make sense for your organization anymore.

That’s where the Freedom Forum, the nonprofit that operates the Newseum, landed after announcing its plans to sell its prominent building, located at 555 Pennsylvania NW in Washington, DC—a prime spot that’s within walking distance of all three major branches of the federal government. (It’s also close to many free-to-enter Smithsonian facilities—a problem for the Newseum as it charges admission.)

The journalistic museum will sell its massive building to Johns Hopkins University in a $372.5 million deal, which is expected to allow the museum to have a more realistic chance of survival. In Nonprofit Quarterly, Senior Editor Steve Dubb noted that the situation is a classic example of the need for nonprofit organizations to live within their means.

“In 2016, the Newseum lost $8.2 million. As reported, however, on line 22 of its expense statement on its Form 990 depreciation, depletion, and amortization expenses alone exceeded $12.5 million,” Dubb said. “Bring down those real estate costs and you might have a less impressive building and address, but perhaps a more sustainable museum.”

For those who want to see the current iteration of the museum as it stands, they have another year—the Freedom Forum plans to keep it open at its current address until the end of 2019.

Just Add Volunteers

Idea Architects’ Jeffrey Cufaude has a reputation as a big thinker, and that thinking was on display this morning in a Twitter thread in which he recommended a more simplistic, data-driven approach to webinars.

The five-step strategy involves detecting specific ideas needed within the community, soliciting volunteers, and organizing the ideas in a webinar format—a simple, easy-to-repeat strategy that associations might find much value in.

Other Links of Note

Take a mental health day lately? The Nonprofit Marketing Guide’s Kristina Leroux makes the case as to why they matter.

Still using Internet Explorer 10 in your office? Might want to upgrade—Microsoft is retiring the vintage browser for enterprise customers starting next year.

A little stress might be what you need. Jeff Cobb, riffing off an idea from botanist Michael Pollan, suggests that a little stress can be worthwhile in learning—if we have prepared ourselves for it.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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