Sharing or Donating Premises/Infrastructure

Sharing or donating spare space/infrastructure is a very easy, very straightforward form of community business partnership.

Community groups are often looking for space either to establish a base, store goods or just to meet instead of gathering in someone's lounge room (which comes with distractions and can make meetings less effective than they should be).

This arrangement can offer benefits to both community and business groups.

For a community group it means a low-cost or no-cost new facility.

For a business, it is good use of spare space and the possibility of an alternate income stream, as well as providing a higher profile (if it is sharing space with a much-visited community group), and a reputation for supporting the community.

Another form of partnership under this model is the sharing or donation of infrastructure. This can occur when there is a piece of infrastructure that can be used to the common benefit - for example, a newsletter put out by the business or by the community group that can be used to cross-promote the partnership and the community business partner.

Examples of sharing premises/infrastructure:

  • Offering storage space in a shed at the back of a business
  • Allowing a group to store flyers or brochures in a spare cupboard or cabinet
  • Occasional or semi-regular use of a spare workstation in a business
  • Allowing a business's photocopier to be used by a community group that brings its own paper
  • Offering space in a business or community group's newsletter to promote the other party
  • A business offering advertising space in a public area for a community event
  • A business offering office or storage space to a community group at half-price or at a percentage of the normal rental cost
Sharing space is easy to organise and put into place.

Planning discussions should cover:

  • When the community group needs to access the space (how often, for how long, at what time, etc);
  • How much notice the business needs if a community group has additional needs for a particular meeting (such as requiring extra time for an Annual General Meeting);
  • Acknowledging that the space may not always be available when expected, so a back-up plan should be in place;
  • What items the community group needs to have in the space and which party is to supply them;
Partnerships based around sharing premises or meeting spaces can be the start of bigger and better things.

A partnership between Bakers Delight and the Breast Cancer Network Australia began this way a few years ago, and has now grown to include all sorts of other components and co-operative work.