San Francisco Launches $2.7 million in Grants To Help Nonprofits Purchase Affordable and Permanent Space as part of Mayor Lee’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

Mayor Lee’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

Funding for nonprofits has increased by more than $48 million (8%)— the largest increase in more than 10 years

San Francisco, CA—The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Northern California Community Loan Fund with key partners today announced $2.7 million in financial assistance to help nonprofits secure permanent space and to create solutions for organizations 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,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “This fund will give them the financial stability to ensure they continue offering these vital resources to City families.”

The grants are a key part of the Mayor’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, which includes a total investment of $6 million over two years. New programs—the Nonprofit Space Investment Fund, and the Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program—continue San Francisco's groundbreaking support of nonprofit space and sustainability, investments in real estate resilience that have been adapted regionally and beyond to stabilize nonprofits and prevent displacement.

“The Office of Economic and Workforce Development works to protect nonprofits that are essential to our city,” said Todd Rufo, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Nonprofit employees make up more than 17% of our City’s workforce and the work they do contributes to quality of life, vibrant neighborhoods, health, safety and economic opportunity for all San Franciscans.”

The new programs have three components:

  • Nonprofit Space Investment Fund: $4.25 million over two years for seed funding to help nonprofits acquire new, permanent owned space and to incentivize philanthropic investment for a permanent home.
  • Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program: $1,455,000 to address urgent needs by providing grants for one-time costs such as for architectural, engineering, legal services; rent stipends; moving expenses; or furnishings, fixtures, equipment, and other tenant improvements. The goal of this grant is to incentivize landlords to extend long-term leases for the organization.  
  • Technical Assistance for Shared Spaces: Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) will build skills of nonprofits seeking to better understand and evaluate shared space opportunities, articulate a shared space vision, and achieve shared goals. Cohorts of two or more organizations may apply. Cohorts will be asked to identify a set of shared goals, which may include one or more of the following: below market or stabilized rents, reduced cost and/or higher-quality shared services and amenities, a level of intentional collaboration between organizations, centralized services or program offerings.

“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.  “The current market environment has seen such steep increases in rent prices it has required intervention.”

 In order to expedite the technical assistance services and financial assistance support for organizations in need, the City selected the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) through a competitive process. Nonprofits interested in applying for assistance can visit for program details and eligibility guidelines, and to register for information sessions. Information sessions will take place on Thursday, March 2, 2:00pm at the Arts Commission (401 Van Ness, Suite 125) and Tuesday, March 7, 4:30pm at the Roxie Theater (3117 16th St).

Applications must be received by 5:00 pm, March 28, 2017 to be considered for the first round of awards which will be announced on May 22, 2017.


About the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative
San Francisco’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative deploys a variety of tools to help stabilize nonprofits, building on the results of recent programs such as the Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program as well as past efforts such as the Nonprofit Space Capital Fund, a program launched by NCCLF in 2001 with support from the City of San Francisco, private foundations and nonprofits.

Grants are one component of a collaborative effort that was launched in response to the recommendations of the Nonprofit Displacement Working Group, a group of 14 nonprofit representatives who worked with members of ten city departments to research and prioritize solutions to fortify the nonprofit sector. Recommendations included the creation of a nonprofit-focused real estate holding company, establishing a staff position to serve as a single point of entry for nonprofit inquiries and to interface with City departments as well as real estate developers to help nonprofits best access the resources of the City

With increasing and diverse demands for government services, San Francisco has nearly 7,000 nonprofits that often work in partnership with the City to address complex challenges and the needs of its residents.  In 2015-16, the city’s financial investment in nonprofits increased by more than $48 million (8%), the largest increase in more than 10 years.


About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD)
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development's (OEWD) mission is simple – to create shared prosperity in San Francisco. OEWD provides city-wide leadership for workforce development, business attraction and retention, neighborhood commercial revitalization, international business and development planning.


About the Northern California Community Loan Fund
The Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) is a nonprofit organization committed to California's low-income communities. For 30 years, NCCLF has partnered with socially conscious impact investors and mission-driven organizations to support low-income communities' need for housing, education, healthcare, food, jobs and economic opportunity. The organization provides loans and working capital, as well as consulting and technical assistance, so that mission-driven organizations can achieve their vision of financially secure and culturally vibrant communities.


About the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development
The mission of the Community Development division at MOHCD is to partner with the community to strengthen the social, physical and economic infrastructure of San Francisco's low-income neighborhoods and communities in need.  MOHCD has been designated as the city agency to administer the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program.


About the San Francisco Arts Commission
The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Its programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries and Street Artist Licensing.

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