Greenhouse grows Cincinnati area nonprofits

An innovative way of attracting and nurturing nonprofits in Blue Ash has hit a milestone. Greenhouse, a nonprofit business accelerator launched by CMC Properties and Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati has turned a year old.

Founded last October, Greenhouse now holds seven nonprofits, including Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati (ESCC), which provides technical and consulting services to nonprofits, schools, faith-based organizations and government agencies. ESCC has worked on 52 total projects for more than 100 clients.

Greenhouse is located in newly refurbished CMC office space at 10945 Reed Hartman Highway near I-275 and I-75. Through Greenhouse, nonprofits are clustered in private office space, but also share resources like training equipment and conference and kitchen space. There are also bookkeeping, administrative, daycare, postal and other services on site.

“We enjoy all of the benefits of having our own bookkeeper, without incurring the overhead,” says Andy McCreanor, executive director and CEO of ESCC, also a nonprofit. “It’s a major advantage. Like most nonprofits, we want to spend our money on our mission, rather than business expenses.”

Nonprofits that locate in the Greenhouse are afforded lower than market rate rent, free Wi-Fi and parking. Greenhouse seeks to help nonprofits cut operating costs so more of their funding can go directly into programming.

“Nonprofits are often rated by what percentage of their donations go to overhead,” says CMC’s President Jim Cohen in announcing the one-year anniversary, “Greenhouse helps them strengthen that percentage with shared services.”

One of the newest organizations to open offices there is the Children's Hunger Alliance. Since 1970, the Columbus-based organization has helped fight childhood hunger through advocacy and partnering with local schools to help feed children who don't get enough food.

The Children's Hunger Alliance has just opened a Cincinnati area office to grow its SW Ohio efforts.

"The cost of rent was extremely reasonable and other amenities offered including the training facility and conference room added to the appeal," says Denise Brodsky, the organization's Southwest regional director. "This allows us to really leverage our resources, which is something all nonprofits want to do."

By Feoshia Henderson
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