August 10, 2017 | From the Marin Independent Journal
MarinSpace, a nonprofit that promotes collaboration among other nonprofits, is seeking to distribute its $2.2 million in assets as it prepares to dissolve.
The organization, established in 1988, is calling for nonprofits serving Marin to submit proposals outlining what could be accomplished with the assets — $300,000 in cash and a Terra Linda property worth an estimated $2.5 million that houses nine nonprofits. Proposals must be submitted by Sept. 1.
“We’re really interested in seeing innovative use and benefits for Marin,” said Karen Stern, a member of MarinSpace’s board of directors.
The board voted to dissolve the organization after longtime CEO Shelley Hamilton announced she would return to project-based consulting. Hamilton in May transitioned from her full-time role to a part-time position as director of project consulting.
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“Her skill set is so specific and unique that when she decided to move to part-time, the board decided it would be to difficult to move someone into that (executive director) role with that same skill set,” said Peter Lee, who stepped into the interim executive director position. “Instead of trying to go through that process, we thought it would be better to dissolve and spread the wealth in Marin County.”
MarinSpace was initially founded with a goal of providing below-market rent to local nonprofits. The organization fulfilled that goal with its 14,500-square-foot building at 70 Skyview Terrace in Terra Linda, which today houses the Center for Restorative Practice, Senior Access and other groups. A use permit limits the building’s use to office space for nonprofits.
Debbie Levy, president of MarinSpace’s board, said nonprofits at the site on average pay 20 percent below market rate.
MarinSpace over the years has expanded its services to include encouraging and assisting Marin groups wanting to collaborate with other organizations. Consulting services are provided to nonprofits wanting to learn how to collaborate and work toward common goals.
Lee said that in addition to working with the groups housed at its Terra Linda property, the nonprofit has worked with Marin Promise and the Aging Action Initiative, consisting of several Marin nonprofits serving older adults.
As MarinSpace dissolves over the next several months, the nonprofit is looking at three possibilities. An organization could acquire assets and staff and continue the group’s mission; the group could dissolve and distribute assets among numerous nonprofits; or a nonprofit could acquire MarinSpace’s building and staff, with cash assets distributed to other groups. Cash assets could be divvied up among six nonprofits, Lee said.
The building, which houses seven nonprofit tenants, brings in roughly $280,000 a year in revenue, not including related expenses, according to the nonprofit. Whoever takes over the building will take on $570,000 of mortgage debt.
The nonprofit seeks two- to three-page requests for information by Sept. 1.
Board members will select compelling proposals, with nonprofits learning by Oct. 1 if they are still in the running to receive some or all assets. More detailed proposals will be required at a yet unknown date.
Groups will know whether they are receiving assets by Dec. 31, when MarinSpace expects to be fully dissolved, Lee said.
Groups interested in more information can click here.