Mayor Lee Announces $6 Million Investment to Support San Francisco Nonprofit Organizations
Unprecedented Funding in Mayor’s Budget Creates Permanently Affordable Nonprofit Space & Invests in Long-Term Sustainability of Neighborhood-Serving Nonprofits
San Francisco, CA— Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the City will invest $6 million in programs over the next two years to strengthen the nonprofit sector in San Francisco. This investment includes an unprecedented $4.25 million to create a Nonprofit Space Investment Fund for the acquisition of permanent affordable space, $1.45 million to launch a Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program to address nonprofit sustainability, and $295,000 to support planning and evaluation for long-term partnerships such as program expansions or shared administrative staff.
“Nonprofit organizations are the backbone of our City, and I am proud to invest $6 million to help a broad spectrum of groups stay and succeed in San Francisco,” said Mayor Lee. “Our residents, particularly our most vulnerable, depend on San Francisco nonprofits for services, compassion and inspiration. That’s why I am committed to creating permanently affordable space and investing in the long-term success of these organizations.”
Mayor Lee’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 and 2017-18 proposed balanced budget includes funding for the following new programs that will be made available to all non-profits including social services, children, youth and their families, arts and culture, and many more:
- Nonprofit Space Investment Fund: Mayor Lee would create a new Nonprofit Space Investment Fund seeded with $4.25 million over two years which would provide critical financial support to nonprofits for acquisition of permanent space. The Nonprofit Space Investment Fund draws on the success of the Community Art Stabilization Trust (CAST) which leveraged an investment from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation to purchase two buildings in Central Market and launch a model for ongoing acquisition of arts and culture space.
- Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program: The Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program will address short- and medium-term challenges nonprofits are facing by providing grants for one-time costs to help nonprofits navigate space transitions and activate underutilized space. The $1.5 million investment will also help 100 nonprofits build skills related to shared space planning and evaluation through workshops and small-group consultation.
- Nonprofit Accelerator Program: $295,000 is dedicated to create the Nonprofit Accelerator Program for nonprofits that seek to increase effectiveness or improve their financial health through partnership. For many nonprofits, the path to long-term stability and greater impact has included strategic restructuring such as co-location, administrative service partnerships and joint programming. Organizations of all sizes can use partnership to respond to change, but need dedicated resources to successfully explore and evaluate opportunities.
“Nonprofits need a ready source of capital to act quickly to acquire property in San Francisco’s competitive commercial real estate market,” said Kenneth Rainin Foundation Director of Arts Strategy and Ventures Shelley Trott. “We are thrilled the Mayor is investing in permanent homes for nonprofits who serve our communities, and we will continue to work in close partnership with the city to stabilize the sector.”
These new programs are a key part of the Mayor’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative which to help nonprofit organizations start, stay and grow in San Francisco. Launched in 2015 by Mayor Lee, the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative is a collaboration between the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the Arts Commission, and other key partners. In June 2015, OEWD hired a one-stop nonprofit liaison to directly support nonprofits and to advise with regard to technical assistance, policy, and other measures that will fortify the City’s nonprofit sector – the first time the City has ever had such a position. Over 100 organizations have received direct assistance, pro bono referrals and information about City grant programs.
OEWD’s nonprofit liaison supported Northern California Grantmakers’ regional survey of nonprofit space and facilities and launched a request for proposals that will result in a community benefit organization occupying new, affordable program space at 167 Jessie Street in SoMa. To maximize nonprofit access to City support, OEWD has established a website, which connects many City resources, including funding opportunities, in one location. For more information, go to: oewd.org/nonprofits.