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Nonprofit Displacement Project

Creation and Purpose

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.

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 We're Doing

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

Members of the working group are supporting the following solutions:

California Community Owned Real Estate Program is a five-year initiative to expand the capacity of small and emergent local Community Development Corporations, Community Land Trusts, and other local nonprofit real estate efforts to drive community land control. These local real estate entities are key to building power, wealth, and well-being in low income communities and communities of color, but face both capacity and capital barriers for wider community impact. Community Vision and Genesis LA are undertaking this initiative in partnership as a statewide strategy.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Technical Assistance provides webinars, on-demand tools, and one on one technical assistance from Community Vision for nonprofits facing financial and real estate challenges due to the impact of COVID-19.

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.

All Good Work connects nonprofits and social enterprises to donated office space - starting with coworking spaces and business centers - in Silicon Valley. The model seeks to mitigate nonprofit displacement in the Bay Area's challenging real estate environment, lower the cost of innovation in the social sector, and enable workforce decentralization that can broaden the reach of vital programs. 

Real Estate Readiness Program Silicon Valley is the Northern California Community Loan Fund's highly regarded program that builds the capacity of organizations located in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

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.

See the Report

Nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area have long struggled to find and keep affordable space in the region’s red-hot real estate market and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new array of space challenges. Nonprofits now face new challenges - renegotiating leases, shedding unused space, adapting spaces to meet physical distancing requirements, even expanding to meet increased demand for services. Even without the staggering economic consequences of the pandemic, the future of nonprofit workspace is in flux as many nonprofits have moved to remote working arrangements and are considering alternatives to the future of workspace.

In late 2020, in collaboration with Community Vision and the Nonprofit Displacement Project, NCG commissioned a survey to better understand how COVID-19 has impacted the operations and workspace needs of Bay Area nonprofits.

All Project Reports

Below you will find all four publications released by the Nonprofit Displacement Project working group. You can download all the reports you find useful. 


Upcoming Nonprofit Displacement Project programming coming soon. In the meantime, take a look at our past events.
Thursday, June 17, 2021

We are now excited to announce the launch of the California Community-Owned Real Estate (CalCORE) Program – a five-year, state-wide initiative to increase community-controlled and mission-driven real estate for Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color across California.  

Thursday, November 7, 2019

What do you get when you set four top-performing bankers from Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, and San Francisco on a three-week sprint to map the next leg of the Bay Area’s efforts to secure space for its prized nonprofits? A welcome strategy for shoring up resources, a gentle nudge away from the usual suspects, and a snazzy PowerPoint to show the way.

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...

Since the release of the Nonprofit Displacement Report in 2016, national and local media have supported the spread of the issue and the work we are doing. View some of the external media below.  

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is far reaching, including major implications for non-profits and the communities that they serve.

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.