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Solving the Nonprofit Real Estate Crisis in Five Actionable Steps

Monday, November 28, 2016

While five steps alone won’t solve the entire displacement crisis, these immediate actions will keep the nonprofits we love from closing their doors on the communities they serve.  

  1. Open General Operating Support: Increase use of and extend grants; eliminate overhead caps.  
  2. Adjust for Increased Space Costs: Support increased costs, offer ‘mitigation’ grants; rent subsidies; and adjustments.   
  3. Offer Emergency Grants: Provide emergency grants for moving costs, renovations, lease-holder improvements, or sudden office space price increases.  
  4. Fund Space Brokers: Fund a database of available spaces to guide nonprofits and assess the market.  
  5. Support Technical Assistance: Join with peers and support nonprofits to plan a move, negotiate with landlords, prepare for ownership, and evaluate options for long-term space needs.

Two of Every Three Nonprofits Anticipate a Move 

Real estate prices continue to climb and Bay Area news headlines alert us to the crisis faced by nonprofits, the people they serve, and even the people who work there. 

Most nonprofits (82%) are concerned about sustaining their work in the face of rising office space costs in the region. Nearly two out of every three nonprofits say they will have to make a decision about moving within the next four years. 

A group of foundations, government funders and nonprofits have crowd-sourced solutions — some immediate and some long-term.  

This group's work followed the release of a report revealing the scope of the issue over six Bay Area counties.

This fall, NCG again brought nonprofits together to share updates and priorities, provide feedback on the solutions we’re now pursuing and share local opportunities for resources and support.  

At the briefings, nonprofits offered community input and clear direction on the support that would make an immediate difference in averting impending moves and those that would help nonprofits land on their feet when moving is unavoidable. Learn more from the Addendum to the report.