Need for Capital Incubator
Nonprofit organizations find it increasingly
difficult to secure and maintain stable and affordable, space.
In boom periods, commercial real estate prices rise, inflating
rents, reducing vacancy rates and pushing nonprofit organizations
into the margins. In periods of downturn, funding that typically
covers rent and infrastructure becomes scarce. Nonprofit organizations,
particularly those that serve low-income communities, are
faced with complex decisions as they confront both lack of
space and diminishing resources, combined with an increased
need for their services.
The leadership of most nonprofit organizations
is relatively inexperienced in real estate and capital development.
While funders offer grant support for capital planning and
bricks and mortar, they don’t provide hands-on consulting
services for the day-to-day decisions involved in planning,
working with strategic partners, understanding real estate
choices and researching financing and fundraising options.
While there are a number of consultants who
do address aspects of facilities or capital development --
fundraising consultants, feasibility consultants, brokers,
project managers, financial advisors -- few have an overall
view of the predevelopment process. Capital Incubator’s
services are informed by an integrated approach to addressing
all the aspects of a project, and to determining readiness
and the unique course of action required to successfully complete
a facilities development project.
The underlying premise of Capital Incubator’s
work is that the internal capacity, programs and mission of
nonprofit organizations are strengthened through the successful
completion of facilities development projects.
Capital Incubator incorporates the following
strategies into its work:
- Educate organizational leadership about facilities
development and its potential impact on operations.
- Maximize the planning process to ensure that
organizations are ready to take on and support growth.
- Consider all options for facilities development,
including strategic partnerships and multi-tenant buildings.
- Leverage all aspects of a facilities development
project to build organizational resources, infrastructure,
fundraising capacity and financial literacy.
Andra Lichtenstein has over thirty-five years experience in both the nonprofit sector and the business community as a development director, executive director, board member, business owner, banker and financial advisor. As the founder and Principal of Capital Incubator, Andra assists nonprofit organizations in obtaining debt financing through new markets tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, alternative loan funds and commercial banks. She also provides technical support for all other aspects of capital development including facilities selection and analysis, predevelopment planning and capital campaign planning. She has a particular focus on community health centers as well as on senior services organizations. She also specializes in mixed use collaborations between health centers and affordable housing organizations as well as in multi-tenant nonprofit centers.
Prior to founding Capital Incubator, Andra was Assistant Vice President at Cain Brothers, a national investment banking firm where she specialized in senior health and housing and coordinated the processing of tax-exempt bond financings for nonprofit capital projects ranging from $12 million to $66 million. She also assisted organizations in fundraising and project coordination for the predevelopment phase of construction, including land use and architectural design.
She previously served as Planning and Development Director of LifeLong Medical Care in Berkeley where she oversaw the development of a community health center (Over 60 Health Center) with a PACE program and HUD 202 housing. She arranged and managed the tax-exempt bond financing for the health center, providing project management during both predevelopment and construction phases, directed the capital campaign, and coordinated project development with the affordable housing developer. She also oversaw the design and implementation of a public art project at the site.
Andra capitalized, built, opened and operated Saul's Restaurant and Delicatessen in Berkeley. Andra is the President of the Board of Directors of Ashby Village, a membership organization that provides community and support for people to age in their communities.
Capital Incubator partners with independent consultants who are experts in the areas of capital campaigns, financing, organizational development and strategic planning for facilities development.
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