Does a private foundation lead the nonprofit sector or react to opportunities? I have always been reticent to direct and drive change with our local nonprofits. I have always believed that local nonprofit organizations dealing with issues on the front lines are best at letting foundations know their needs.
I believe a primary role of foundations is to help nonprofit organizations with operating support and sustainability in order to help them meet their missions.
For the past 25 years, I have explained and demonstrated how private foundations are in a unique position to use portions of their assets to directly invest in the nonprofit sector in various ways. And, these investments go far beyond grant dollars.
During this time, Hutton Parker Foundation has used its asset base to offer PRIs, worked with local banks to guarantee lines of credit and loans for many nonprofits, and purchased buildings to house nonprofits at below market rental rates.
We have invested 70% of our endowment directly into our nonprofit community. We then make grants from the revenue generated from these investments. We currently own 17 nonprofit office buildings housing nearly 70 nonprofit tenants.
Since March 2019, Hutton Parker Foundation has been restoring a historic adobe, originally built in 1826, located at 11 & 15 East Carrillo Street in Santa Barbara. Once complete, a portion of the building will be open to the public as a small museum dedicated to the history of the adobe and other adobes throughout Santa Barbara. A large, restored boardroom will be made available for use by local nonprofit organizations for meetings, education and presentations. On the walls of this room will be displayed a 200+ year history of Santa Barbara’s philanthropists and philanthropy. The remainder of the building will house Hutton Parker Foundation’s offices and home to three or four additional local foundations.
I’m proud of this latest project! It is another example of how Hutton Parker Foundation goes beyond just investing assets in Wall Street and invests directly in our community.