The Philanthropy of George & Gladys Abell

Midland Shared Spaces


The Abell-Hanger Foundation's Trustees made the pivotal decision in June 2011 to expedite work on a shared space and shared services initiative. The primary objective was to address the growing pressure on nonprofit organizations to find affordable lease space. 

The Midland Shared Spaces (MSS) steering committee held its inaugural meeting in August 2011, marking the beginning of a journey towards creating a sustainable solution for nonprofits. By May 2012, the former Hillcrest School was purchased, and the building project was completed by December 2013. This marked a significant milestone in our journey, as the first tenants moved in on January 2, 2014. Since then, MSS has maintained an occupancy rate of over 95%, demonstrating the high demand and need for such a facility. MSS was established to enhance nonprofit efficiency, provide affordable workspace and back-office services, and foster collaborations that better serve the nonprofits and people of Midland County. 

Our goal is to provide quality services that allow nonprofits to focus on meeting the needs of their clients. By alleviating the burden of finding affordable lease space, we can empower these organizations to dedicate more resources and energy toward their core mission - serving the community. 

MSS is a dynamic organization that goes beyond providing office space. We are deeply committed to fostering a culture of collaboration, believing firmly in the principle that "together we can achieve more." Our focus on collaboration is threefold: we encourage internal opportunities among our tenants, seek external opportunities with other nonprofits, and actively engage with the broader community. 

Within our walls, we have designed our facilities and programs to promote interaction and cooperation. Our tenant executive directors meet bi-monthly to discuss the challenges facing our tenancy, the nonprofit sector, and the community at large. The goal of these meetings is to identify ways we can support each other and collaborate to address community needs. In 2022, we launched "Coffee Talk," a peer support and open discussion forum for all tenant staff. We also host monthly tenant socials to encourage relationship-building outside individual agencies. These initiatives, coupled with our shared physical spaces, create numerous opportunities for organic collaboration. 

In 2021, we expanded our collaborative efforts by becoming the home of WTX Nonprofits, a robust, vibrant online directory of nonprofits operating or serving in West Texas. This project is designed to connect individuals with area nonprofits for information on missions, services, volunteer opportunities, and events. In 2020, we began developing IT services for small nonprofits outside our walls. The program expanded further in 2021, making affordable IT support available for local nonprofits at 40% less than the comparable market rates. Now in season two, the State of the Nonprofit podcast series is designed to highlight success and explore the challenges of the nonprofit sector in West Texas. 

Our commitment to collaboration extends to the arts. The Gallery at MSS is a unique nonprofit arts collaboration between us, the Midland Arts Association, and The Palette Club. We provide a platform for members of these nonprofit arts associations to display their work free of charge. The art is rotated quarterly, providing local artists with a public venue to showcase their work. Other groups, such as MARC, Sibley Nature Center, and Bynum, use art as part of their programming and have displayed their clients' unique pieces. 

MSS is more than a provider of office space. We are a hub of collaboration, a facilitator of community engagement, and a supporter of the arts. We know that we will continue to achieve more and significantly impact our community. 

Contributed by MSS’s Executive Director, Autumn Vest

Visit the Midland Shared Spaces website.

"We are proud of the continuing good work of Midland Shared Spaces and are always available to share our piece of the story for fellow funders or anyone interested in replicating this model." Mark Palmer, Chief Executive Officer Abell-Hanger Foundation.