By Joanne Lee, Community Vision’s Director of Consulting Services. Cross-posted from the Foundation Center’s Blog.
For years, Community Vision has been a leader in providing expert consulting services and resources that build the real estate and financial skills of nonprofits throughout Northern and Central California. These services complement our lending activities by ensuring that nonprofits are in a position to take on real estate projects when the demand for their services warrants it.
As the Bay Area’s affordability crisis spiked in recent years, we knew that joining partners in the philanthropic, government, and private sectors would be necessary to really scale our work to meet the needs of nonprofits concerned about the ever-volatile Bay Area commercial real estate market. With their support and insight, Community Vision developed spacesforgood.org, a free online space finding platform dedicated to meeting the commercial real estate needs of nonprofits in the Bay Area. Community Vision is excited to join with The Foundation Center and our other partners this evening from 5pm – 7pm as we officially launch the new service. RSVP if you’re able to join us.
Spacesforgood.org allows agents to list space with the needs of Bay Area nonprofits in mind. In turn, nonprofits with unused space can generate revenue by listing their own available space. The site includes additional resources that aid in their search, and our expert consultants are available for one-on-one assistance to users as well.
For nonprofits seeking space, the tool is timely. For years now, we have been deeply engaged with the Northern California Grantmakers, a consortium of regional funders, to see how we could work together to address this issue. In 2016, NCG released a report on nonprofit affordability in the Bay Area. Unsurprisingly, the report found steady increases in commercial real estate have pushed Bay Area office prices up to 122% of what they were five years prior. The report details that two-thirds of surveyed nonprofits will have to make a decision about moving in the next five years. Fully 82% of those surveyed said that they are concerned about how the real estate market will impact their future programming.
Community Vision and our partners see www.spacesforgood.org as one more tool in the arsenal so nonprofits can remain in the neighborhoods they serve in the face of high rents, gentrification, and changing communities. It’s not just about finding space – it’s also about nonprofits and our real estate allies coming together to collectively face these issues and empower each other and our communities.
So, if you have or seek nonprofit space, please visit www.spacesforgood.org today and join our community of nonprofits supporting each other. Join us and our sponsors at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Y & H Soda Foundation, Sobrato Family Foundation, and New Resource Bank one of the following Spaces for Good launch events:
- Tuesday, January 30: 5-7 pm at the Foundation Center: RSVP HERE
- Tuesday, February 13: 5-7 pm at Community Vision’s offices at the Citizen’s Engagement Lab: RSVP HERE
About the Author
Joanne Lee is Community Vision’s Director of Consulting Services. She’s been with Community Vision for 7 years and has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience.