Nonprofit Community Conscience, which owns the Thousand Oaks building that houses 12 other nonprofits and a public agency, is a long way off from the $1.5 million it's trying to raise.
The capital campaign, announced about three months ago, has only raised $19,700, Community Conscience's executive director, Robin Britt, said Friday. The funds will be used to cover costs of renovations made to the structure and to build up the organization's reserves, she said.
Bri attributed the slow going to the holidays and the pandemic.
"Because of those, I would say our capital campaign committee kind of put it on the back burner for a little bit," she said. "But now that it's 2022, they're ready to get going again."
Britt said committee members hope to begin meeting with potential donors face-to-face once it's safe to do so.
"Meeting with them in-person is more powerful than virtually," she said.
But as of Friday, the COVID-19 surge, fueled by the fast-spreading omicron variant, continued to race on in Ventura County.
Community Conscience hopes to net more donations by resuming its largest annual fundraiser, the Mardi Gras Ball, 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 32-year-old, 22,000-square-foot Human Services Center office building at 80 E. Hillcrest Drive in downtown Thousand Oaks. Renovations made to the structure from 2019 to 2021 totaling $350,000 were a new roof, 14 new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and an emergency elevator upgrade, Britt said.
To pay for the refurbishing, Community Conscience trustees had to tap their capital reserves, which at the time stood at about $500,000, and take out a loan from the Small Business Administration, she said.
The nonprofit is trying to raise the $1.5 million to replenish the reserves, add more to them and pay back the loan, she said.
"Things are going up in price, so we're kind of looking for the reserves to carry us through a decade at least," she said. "What this building does is so precious to the community that we need to make sure that whatever happens, it still stands."
As an incentive for individuals and organizations to donate to it, Community Conscience is offering "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 a prominent building are enormous," she said. "We’re located on Hillcrest Drive right off of Moorpark Road, which is in a high traffic zone with excellent visibility."
Naming rights for the entire building will take a $500,000 donation, she said. Naming rights for individual suites range from $10,000 to $25,000, she said.
No one has donated that much so far, Britt said.
The nonprofits housed in the Human Services Center don't pay rent.
Autism Society Ventura County: autismventura.org
Conejo Free Clinic: conejofreeclinic.org
Conejo Youth Employment Services: conejoyes.com
Fit 4 the Cause: fit4thecause.org
Holy Family Services: hfs.org
Hospice of the Conejo: hospiceoftheconejo.org
Interface Children & Family Services: icfs.org
LSS Community Care Centers: lsssc.org
Ohana Health: ohanahealthclinic.org
Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center: pacer.org/bullying
Senior Concerns Bargain Boutiques: seniorconcerns.org/bargain-boutique
Villa Esperanza Services: villaesperanzaservices.org
The building is also home to the Thousand Oaks satellite office of the Ventura County Human Services Agency, ventura.org/human-services-agency, which does pay 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 East County cities of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as transportation countywide. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-437-0323.
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This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Thousand Oaks nonprofit center off to slow start with $1.5M goal