Owning A Nonprofit Event Space

Does your organization dream of growing big enough to own an event space? It definitely makes event planning easier when you have a large space where you never have to worry about it being booked when you want to hold your gala. Think about it, come rain or shine you can draw the community together and put on a stellar event that raises a ton of money for your foundation and helps you continue to carry out your mission. Owning a nonprofit event space isn’t a dream that is that far out of reach!

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Building Donations

Have you ever heard of a nonprofit having a building donated to their organization? Many businesses and building owners like to give back to the community by donating their property to a 501c3 because it fulfills their company’s philanthropic mission. It also gives the property owner a nice tax incentive. Here’s what to know about finding the right building, preparing it for use, and real estate donations.


Building Needs

What kinds of things do you need to consider before you approach a company about donating their building? First, is the property available? Canvas your local area and look for properties that are currently on the market. You will need to look in commercially zoned areas to ensure your charity can legally operate out of the building. If you’re located in Utah, The Give Back Brokerage would be happy to assist you in locating available properties.


Acquiring a Nonprofit Event Space

There are a few ways that a nonprofit can take ownership of a building. In an outright donation, the property deed is transferred directly to the nonprofit from an individual or company. The donor doesn’t have to pay any capital gains tax, and they receive a tax deduction for donating to a nonprofit. A second way that a nonprofit can acquire an event space is through the building being donated to your nonprofit with a charitable gift annuity. In this case, the organization pays the donor in smaller fixed payments (annuity income). Some of the annuity income is tax-free for the donor. The nonprofit may decide to sell the property; however, the annuity payments stay the same. There are additional ways to come into ownership of a building including charitable remainder trusts and retained life estates. It would be best to discuss these options with your organization’s tax advisor.


Building Preparation

Nonprofit organizations are critical for anchoring communities and stabilizing neighborhoods. When organizations are invested in the place in which they’re located, they become important hubs that create opportunities for those they serve. When nonprofits own their buildings, it increases the opportunity to brand their space. This branding and visibility can attract new clients, members, or patrons, as well as new financial support. Can you say GROWTH?


While branding your business is extremely important, it is also important to protect your organization’s investment. A lot of people pass through events and you want to make sure there are cameras around your property. Cameras aren’t just for your property’s sake, but also for the safety of those that attend your events. A United States-based business called Criterion Technology Inc creates optical domes for any and all security needs. They offer injection molding lenses, including those that are airtight, for security systems. Due to their outstanding community investments, they are clearly the company for nonprofits to use to protect their building investment. 


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Renting event spaces eat into the annual overhead budgets of nonprofit organizations around the world. If you’re able to streamline your financial operations in a way to obtain your own event space, it is a wonderful investment to make! You never know what a business owner will say when you approach them about donating their building to your organization.