Nonprofit Displacement Project

Thriving communities with equitable access to opportunities, healthy cultural institutions, positive social connections and a network of supportive services are tied to a strong nonprofit infrastructure.  And long-term nonprofit stability and sustainability is inexorably tied to affordable and stable office space. This is the central tenet of the Nonprofit Displacement Project.

What began as a funder briefing on displacement evolved into a research project and now an effort to address the issue of displacement. A multi-stakeholder group including nonprofits, funders, philanthropy, and private interests are now working together to advance solutions to the growing problem of affordable space for nonprofits.

To address displacement requires a multi-pronged effort that includes:

  • Identifying and creating affordable office spaces for nonprofits
  • Providing technical assistance and capacity building that will assist nonprofits to navigate leasing, acquisition, and development of affordable space
  • Policy approaches that mitigate displacement, support creation of nonprofit spaces, and provide funding to address the need for affordable space
  • Changes in funding practices that speak to the real cost of operating and providing services

We recognize that this long-term problem requires not just attention during this critical time when commercial rents have skyrocketed but ongoing attentiveness to the cyclical issue. The Nonprofit Displacement Project intends to bring attention to both what can be done today and be forward looking to identify how we address the long-term sustainability of nonprofits.

Report, Addendum and Solutions

You can now take a look at the full scope of progress on the project so far. View the Report, Addendum and the Solutions offered by the working group. You can also download all reports here

The Nonprofit Displacement Project working group advances its work through these subcommittees: Policy, Creating Space, and Funding Strategy.

Spaces for Good is a free, online space listing platform for nonprofits. The platform allows nonprofits, real estate brokers, landlords, and event venues to advertise their space available to nonprofits for short-term, long-term, or temporary use. Members of the Nonprofit Displacement Project working group supported the development of this platform to meet a need shared by nonprofits in the Nonprofit Displacement report.

Survey of Santa Clara & San Mateo Nonprofit Space and Facilities

NCG is conducting a survey to gain a deeper understanding of the physical spaces that nonprofits use in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and if and/or how they are dealing with displacement due to increases in the cost of office space. The findings of this survey will help Northern California Grantmakers’ Nonprofit Displacement Project develop a more cohesive, data-driven approach to developing policy and funding responses to this problem, and keep this issue on the radar of policy makers, government, and companies. NCG will share the results of this survey in the fall of 2018.



Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 2:30pm

For the past two years, the Nonprofit Displacement Project has been working to advance solutions to the growing problem of affordable space for nonprofits across the Bay Area.


The Bay Area economic boom is having dramatic, tectonic effects: deepening income and opportunity disparities are placing nonprofit and arts institutions at higher risk for displacement, further threatening to undermine the unique, vibrant character and culture that have been the legacy of our re

This report presents new data and analyses that illustrate how rising rents and stagnant incomes are straining household budgets and stifling opportunity in the nine-county Bay Area, jeopardizing the region’s diversity, growth, and prosperity.

Across the nation, artistic and cultural practices are helping to define the sustainability of urban, rural, and suburban neighborhoods. In the design of parks and open spaces; the building of public transit, housing, and supermarkets; in plans for addressing needs for community health and healing trauma; communities are embracing arts and culture strategies to help create equitable communities of opportunity where everyone can participate, prosper, and achieve their full potential. And artists are seeing themselves — and being seen by others — as integral community members whose talents, crafts, and insights pave the way to support community engagement and cohesion.

“Creating Change through Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development: A Policy and Practice Primer” highlights both promising and proven practices that demonstrate equity-focused arts and culture policies, strategies, and tools.

Displacement threats to arts and cultural organizations are an increasingly urgent problem in cities and communities across the country. Fellow funders, city governments and nonprofits are searching for solutions to help protect our most valued arts and cultural assets. Today, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has launched a new online resource to showcase an innovative solution that can help secure permanent, affordable spaces for arts nonprofits.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Whether you’re living, moving, hiring or solving, it’s hard to argue that anything more urgently defines our region than the housing crisis. Our friends at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation put together this snazzy graphic on the levers and landscape for affordable housing from philanthropic investment to development to percentage of income spent on housing.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

More than 40 years ago, changes in federal funding practices undermined nonprofits dependent on those funds to maintain steady cash flow and financial stability.  To address this, a group of local funders...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is not alone in wondering how to make more of its dollars and influence to help organizations stay put as rents continue to soar across the Bay Area. Hear from Shelley Trott at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation on the story of its big bet, the risks they took, and the payoff for Bay Area arts organizations.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Bay Area’s real estate boom is on full display from our office windows. The dizzying new Salesforce tower gleams over the city, and smaller skyscrapers are quickly sprouting up in the blocks around it. Across the Bay, Oakland is seeing historically low office vacancy rates and, like San Francisco, skyrocketing rents. Developers in Oakland are renovating older buildings in downtown and uptown, many that have housed nonprofits, to convert into Class A office properties. All of this construction will create new market rate office space and will likely continue to attract more companies to our region.