Thousand Oaks nonprofit center gets off to a slow start with $1.5 million goal
Nonprofit Community Consciousness, which owns the Thousand Oaks building that houses 12 other nonprofits and a public agency, is a far cry from the $1.5 million it is trying to raise.
The fundraising campaign, announced about three months ago, raised just $19,700, Community Conscience executive director Robin Britt said Friday. The funds will be used to cover the costs of renovations to the structure and to build up the organization’s reserves, she said.
Bri attributed the slowdown to the holidays and the pandemic.
“Because of that, I would say our capital campaign committee kind of put it on the back burner for a little while,” she said. “But now that we are in 2022, they are ready to go again.”
Britt said committee members hoped to start meeting potential donors in person once it was safe to do so.
“Meeting them in person is more powerful than virtually,” she said.
But starting Friday, the surge of COVID-19, fueled by the rapid spread omicron variant, continued racing in Ventura County.
Community Conscience hopes to raise more donations by resuming its biggest annual fundraiser, the Mardi Gras Ball, on March 5 at the Hyatt Regency Westlake Hotel in Westlake Village. The event was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
Community Conscience owns the 22,000-square-foot, 32-year-old Social Services Center office building at 80 E. Hillcrest Drive in downtown Thousand Oaks. Renovations to the structure from 2019 to 2021 totaling $350,000 included a new roof, 14 new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and an emergency elevator upgrade, Britt said.
To pay for the renovation, Community Conscience administrators had to dip into their capital reserves, which at the time amounted to about $500,000, and take out a loan from the Small Business Administration, she said. .
The nonprofit is trying to raise $1.5 million to replenish reserves, add more and repay the loan, she said.
“The prices are going up, so we’re sort of looking for the reserves to get us through at least a decade,” she said. “What this building does is so valuable to the community that we need to make sure no matter what happens, it stays standing.”
To encourage individuals and organizations to donate, Community Conscience offers “naming opportunities” in which the building and individual suites would be named after major contributors, Britt said. Their names would be displayed.
“The benefits of naming rights on such an important building are enormous,” she said. “We are located on Hillcrest Drive just off Moorpark Road which is in a high traffic area with excellent visibility.”
Naming rights for the entire building will require a $500,000 donation, she said. Naming fees for individual suites range from $10,000 to $25,000, she said.
No one has donated more so far, Britt said.
Non-profit organizations housed at the Human Services Center do not pay rent.
The building also houses the Thousand Oaks satellite office of the Ventura County Social Services Agency, ventura.org/human-services-agency, who pays rent.
To donate to Community Conscience, or for more information about the Mardi Gras Ball fundraiser, call the nonprofit at 805-494-3543 or visit its website, communityconscience.org.
Mike Harris covers the county towns of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as countywide transportation. You can contact him at [email protected] or 805-437-0323.
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