As profits zoom up for tech corporations, nonprofits are zooming out of the Bay Area because of increased rents and cost of living. In order to halt that exodus, a coalition of city offices is putting together a $2.7 million grant fund called the San Francisco Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative to help local nonprofits either attempting to purchase permanent spaces or those seeking long-term leases.
“San Francisco residents rely on nonprofit organizations to provide important services like child care, health care, job training, legal aid, and counseling,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement. “This fund will give them the financial stability to ensure they continue offering these vital resources to City families.”
The application forms are available online, and information sessions for applying will be held on Thursday, March 2 at 2 p.m. at the SF Arts Commission (401 Van Ness Street, Suite 125) and Tuesday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m. at the Roxie Theater (3117 16th Street).
“Because real estate is market-driven, and many nonprofits rely on revenues from foundations or municipal sources that are less responsive, organizations are vulnerable as rents rise,” said Joanne Lee, director of consulting services and program development for the Northern California Community Loan Fund that is helping support the program. “The current market environment has seen such steep increases in rent prices it has required intervention.”
The program has three components — a Nonprofit Space Investment Fund for organizations looking to purchase a space, a Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program to fund upgrades to nonprofits already in long-term leases, and Technical Assistance for Shared Spaces in collaborative arrangements.
The deadline for all applications is March 28, 2017.