Whether you’re outgrowing your current space or are just looking for a change of scenery, moving offices can be a great way to start fresh, rebrand, or re-energize your team. But along with the logistics of moving or selling your current location’s assets, there are a swarm of other questions to ask that will have a financial impact on your organization during the move.

Though there may be even more to talk about than we get into here, these are many of the most common financial hiccups that not-for-profit organizations experience during a relocation.

1. How Much Does The New Location Cost?

Assuming you’ll look into leasing office space, consider the cost of residence against the aim of fulfilling the mission. Locations that dip into funds set aside for providing programs, goods, or services should be avoided.

2. How Does The Move Affect The Mission?

If your organization’s mission is achieved by using your physical location, you’ll need to communicate clearly to those you serve that they can no longer find you at your old address. In addition, consider the needs of the neighborhood or region you’re moving to — are your services targeted to that community as well as your previous one?

3. Do You Have The Board’s Approval?

Once you’ve selected a location, a major hurdle that could affect your integrity as an organization is obtaining the board of directors’ approval for the move. Make sure this decision is documented in order to maintain your organization’s integrity in the face of regulatory agencies and audits.

4. What Will You Do With Your Fixed Assets?

Not only do you have to transport the assets you want to keep, you also must keep track of every asset you own and whether it needs to be taken off the books.

  • Sold or donated assets: Prior to sale or disposal, any assets that are sold or donated must be approved by the board of directors.
  • Non-moveable assets: Fixed assets like carpet, light fixtures, and cabinets that can’t come with you must be removed from your books.
  • Moveable assets: Ensure everything you take with you to the new location is tracked and packed carefully to avoid damage or loss.

5. When Will You Move?

Unlike eager homeowners, your organization can likely be strategic about the time of year you decide to move. What works best for your organization? Is there a lull in your mission in a predictable season? Would it be advantageous to move around the beginning of your fiscal year?

6. How Does The Move Affect Your People?

Perhaps more impacted by a change in office location are your team members. Map out the addresses of those who work for your organization to see how their commute is impacted by the change. If the changes are drastic, think about brainstorming solutions with your team, like creating a work-from-home policy.

7. How Does The Move Affect Your Partners?

Vendors, even if they never step foot in your office, may be affected by your address change. Make sure you inform your most critical suppliers and partners before the move, so future invoices and deliveries make it to you on time.

8. What Will You Do When You Arrive?

There’s a balance to find between things that feel new and things that feel familiar about your new office space. In the transition, your organization will likely look to purchase upgrades and/or repairs to the space in order to make it feel more unique. Make sure any qualifying purchases are recorded as fixed assets, including:

  • Furniture
  • Computers
  • Signage
  • Carpet
  • Flooring
  • Doors
  • Light fixtures

 

Moving office locations is surely complicated, but it can seem like an easy decision to make. However, there are many interconnected systems and people that will be affected by an address change, so it helps to consult with others who have seen not-for-profits move successfully in the past.

If you have any questions about your specific non-profit organization’s upcoming move, please feel free to contact us. We’re happy to share our expertise in helping not-for-profits achieve their financial goals and core missions.

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