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Real Estate Essentials for Nonprofits

Starts with a deep dive into property management, followed by sessions on acquiring and renovating real estate.

The workshop series will help nonprofits:

  • Efficiently own, operate, and manage their current facilities.
  • Determine if building ownership is a good fit when considering real estate acquisitions.
  • Develop the skills needed to start the real estate process, from acquisition to grand opening.
  • Access Bridgeway’s real estate loans and the opportunity to opt into the Rainy Day Relief Fund, a 0% interest fund that enrolled nonprofits can tap into when capital is needed to tackle unforeseen repairs.

Ready for Real Estate?

Virtual Information Session was held on Friday, September 1, 2023 at 12 pm

Considering purchasing real estate for your nonprofit and unsure of all that ownership entails?  Already own a facility and looking for more knowledge on how to manage and sustain the property? Below is the link from the virtual info session presentation on how Real Estate Essentials for Nonprofits can help.

Get Slides


Program Basics


  • Four learning sessions over four months
  • Session will be 2 hours each
  • Sessions will be in person and/or virtual
  • Up to ten nonprofits will be selected for the workshop series
  • Participants will gain tools and materials to reference after the sessions
  • Session attendance and cohort participation enforced
  • Pre and post-program knowledge and confidence assessments to gauge the impact
  • Session attendance and cohort participation required


  • Applications open on Tuesday, August 15, 2023
  • Virtual information session on Friday, September 1, 2023 at 12 pm
  • Applications are due on Friday, September 15, 2023
  • Cohort participants announced Friday, September 29, 2023
  • Participant virtual orientation on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 12pm
  • The four-session schedule takes place over the four months below



  • Registered nonprofit organization
  • Located in the Greater Pittsburgh region
  • Budget over $300K annually


  • Current borrowers with Bridgeway
  • Nonprofits seriously considering real estate in the next 3-5 years

Two Skill Sets Learned

Phase 1: Managing and Sustaining Property

Are you a nonprofit leader that owns a building and encounters unforeseen facility challenges? Are you a nonprofit leader considering real estate, and want to understand what ownership entails? This first phase will help participants understand how owned property can maximize (or threaten) mission impact, financial health, and operation stability.

Participating in phase 1 is highly encouraged for current Bridgeway loan clients that want to opt into the Rainy Day Relief Fund.

Phase 2: Acquiring and Renovating Property

With a comprehensive understanding of ownership in hand, phase 2 will teach nonprofit leaders the basics of identifying, purchasing, and renovating underutilized buildings into new hubs for operations and impact. Participants will leave better equipped to start the real estate process.

This phase is optional for nonprofit participants that already own property.

Our Experts

Tom Hardy

Partner & Director | Altair Real Estate

Tom has over two decades of urban planning and community development experience. He works primarily with non-profits, institutions, and local governments. Tom has deep experience in structuring public and private financing, as well as working to reposition community-based real estate assets. Tom earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Pittsburgh, and he holds the American Institute of Certified Planners AICP designation. His undergraduate degree is in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. Tom is licensed to practice real estate in Pennsylvania.

Dora Walmsley

Bridgeway Capital | Commercial Real Estate Loan Officer

As a Commercial Real Estate Loan Officer, Dora works to increase equitable development throughout our region. Before her position at Bridgeway, she was the Assistant Director of Development County and Allegheny County Economic Development. She brings 15 years of non-profit, community, and economic development experience to Bridgeway Capital. From 2013 – 2018, Dora owned and operated a community-based corner store which received its start-up capital from Bridgeway. Dora also holds an undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and a dual master’s in Business Administration and Food Studies from Chatham University.

Gather, Learn, and Share

The sessions will be held at Bridgeway’s Wilkinsburg Office located at the Historic Wilkinsburg Train Station.


Phase 1 Sessions: Managing and Sustaining Property

Session 1: Getting Through Rainy Days

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 
3 pm to 5 pm
Hybrid Session (Wilkinsburg Office and Online)

Topics covered:

  • Understanding Realities and Challenges of Ownership and Property Management
  • Sources of Emergency Capital
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Establishing and Using Property Reserves

Session 2: Getting the Green!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023
3 pm to 5 pm
Hybrid Session (Wilkinsburg Office and Online)

Topics covered:

  • Preparing for Loan and Grant Applications
  • Sustainable Facilities
  • Capital Resources
  • Generating Income by (Sub)Leasing –Commercial Leasing Basics
  • Lease Administration & Management

Phase 2: Acquiring and Renovating Property

Session 3: Strategic Decision-Making for Acquisition

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
3 pm to 5 pm
Hybrid Session (Wilkinsburg Office and Online)

Topics covered:

  • Rent v. Buy
  • Accounting, Tax, and Governance Considerations
  • Basics of Commercial Real Estate Market
  • Partnering with a Real Agent
  • Frequent Facility Challenges for Non-Profits

Session 4: Setting the Table for Sustainable Operations

Tuesday, February 13, 2024
3 pm to 5 pm
Hybrid Session (Wilkinsburg Office and Online)

Topics covered:

  • Capital Needs Planning
  • Engaging Professional Services
  • Building Blocks of a Good Pro Forma
  • Construction and Project Management

One-on-One Assistance

Guidance to tackle your specific challenges.

After the workshop series, nonprofits with current loans with Bridgeway are eligible for three additional 1:1 coaching sessions to take place in the following two months. In these coaching sessions, our experts can answer questions specific to your facility and build your confidence in how to best manage your building assets, mitigate risks, and be prepared to respond to crises.

Rainy Day Fund

Emergency capital you can rely on when unexpected repairs happen. 

The Rainy Day Fund is a 0% interest cash reserve that enrolled nonprofits can tap into when capital is needed to tackle unforeseen repairs. Eligible uses include maintenance repairs required for sustaining operations (e.g., furnace, elevator, roof, and other repairs.) The relief fund gives nonprofits peace of mind to respond quickly to facility challenges and not divert essential funds from programming.


  • Current Bridgeway loan clients can opt into the Rainy Day Fund as an add-on to their existing loan with 0% interest.
  • Nonprofits pursuing a real estate loan with Bridgeway can include the Rainy Day Fund in their loan package.

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