Charity Work Spaces Scheme

A unique scheme to let charities and non-profits repurpose their space as hot-desking for outside professionals.

As a result of Covid-19, many charities and non-profits have commitments to more space than they need.

Some organisations are planning to repurpose some of that space as "hot-desking" space for people external to the organisation — such as freelancers, work-from-homers, and owners of small businesses.

But this creates some challenges around how to provide internet connectivity to the desks, how to manage safety issues ("Covid Secure", insurance, policies), administration, collecting payments, managing customer service enquiries, how to rent or buy furniture, etc.

How can you create this sort of hot-desking space in a way where the hassle doesn't outweigh the benefits?

It's What's Next IT is a unique social enterprise — we do the IT for small businesses and charities, but we employ people disadvantaged in the job market (care levers, ex-services personnel, etc). Our ethos and social mission is to provide ways in which normal commercial businesses mix with and cross-pollenate ideas with public sector and charities, public, and voluntary sector organisations. As such, this is right up our alley — we want to see commercial business people mixing with social organisations, allowing both groups to learn from each other.

We are offering the "Charity Work Spaces Scheme" — a unique, turnkey system to charities and non-profits local to Milton Keynes, Bucks, Beds, and Northants where we manage the whole process, end-to-end, of repurposing part of your organisation's excess of space into hot-desking space and/or meeting room rental space.

How it Works

The model that we recommend works on a "membership" basis, where you sell memberships to outside people that gives them a number of days they can use the space per month, and top-up on a pay-as-you-go basis. (We manage all of that for you — you just need to sell it. There's an illustration below.) A drop in model we feel will work best, enabling people to come and go in a flexible way.

By way of an illustration, we believe that most organisations can charge £40+VAT for membership, and we think an ideal use-case for this is professionals working from home who want to get into a different environment to get headspace, or to mingle (insofar as we can) with other professionals. For example, someone may want to spend two afternoons a week in the centre, so for their £40+VAT membership they would get 10 half-day sessions, or £4 a session, with the option of additional "pay as you go" sessions.

We provide a website, branded as your organisation, that let's people sign-up as members, set-up their Direct Debits, see availability, book space, and raise customer service queries.

In addition to hot-desking, you can use the same website to let people making meeting room bookings — another way of offsetting your expenditure on space.

1. You identify the space to turn into hot-desking space, and/or meeting room rental.
2. We undertake an audit of the space and let you know what needs to be done in terms of physical security, and information security.
3. We liase with your insurance company or broker, and facilitate modifications of your internal policies to allow outside people to work in your space in a way that's safe for them, you, and your clients.
4. We arrange installation of a separate internet connection — a separate internet connection is absolutely required to ensure information and data security in your organisation.
5. You sell the memberships — directing people to the website branded in your name that we host, managing the process of on-boarding them, setting up Direct Debits, etc.
6. People start using the space. Any technical support issues in getting online, we handle for you. They use an app to check in and check out, so that you know exactly who has been in the space at any time. (This is relevant for "Covid secure"/ track and track, as well as health and safety, fire or emergencies, etc.)
7. We handle any customer service queries or issues on your behalf.
8. We collect the money from the members via Direct Debit, take a commission (see below), and pass the remaining money on to you.

What it Costs

As a social enterprise, this scheme allows organisations that broadly share our social mission to offset some of their fixed expenditure on their space, whilst creating a flow of money into our organisation that helps us with the direct work we do — i.e. creating IT apprenticeships for people with complex, overlapping vulnerabilities, helping them create worthwhile, rewarding careers in IT. We are incorporated as a Community Interest Company, or CIC.

This scheme costs as follows:

  • Scoping audit: £95+VAT — a site visit and report setting out the physical security, infomation security, and any other risks involved in opening up your space in this way.
  • Internet connection: either arranged at your expense, or at £35+VAT/month*
  • Onbording fee: £425+VAT, payable as £71+VAT per month for six months.
  • Running costs: 15% of membership revenue, 7.5% of meeting room booking revenue.

Any costs that the organisation discovers in setting up the space which are "weird" — e.g. installing new doors, buying furniture, etc — are outside of scope.

Contracts are a 3-month rolling contract.

How to Proceed

If you would like to discuss how the "too much space" problem in your organisation can be solved using our Charity Work Spaces scheme, please call Matthew Reynolds (Founder, It's What's Next IT) on 01908 410883, or email mattr@iwn-it.com.