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Using Real Estate to Grow Nonprofit Sustainability: A Case Study of Washington, DC’s Whitman-Walker

Community-based nonprofit organizations fill crucial gaps, yet many struggle to keep the lights on. One underexplored opportunity to bolster nonprofits’ financial stability is leveraging the value of the land that nonprofits own. Nonprofits with landholdings often face pressures to cash in on their holdings, but an alternative exists. Join us for a discussion on how nonprofits can redevelop land into revenue-generating assets as we highlight the case study of LIZ, a project of Whitman-Walker, a Washington, DC–based community health and research center, and Fivesquares Development. The project converted an outdated real estate asset into a multiuse development that will financially support the nonprofit’s mission.



  • Andy Altman, Principal and Cofounder, Fivesquares Development
  • Don Blanchon, Founder, Wasque Advisors; former Chief Executive Officer, Whitman-Walker Health System
  • Rebecca Marx, Research Analyst, Urban Institute
  • Naseema Shafi, Chief Executive Officer, Whitman-Walker Health
  • Dan Tangherlini, Managing Director, Emerson Collective
  • Brett Theodos, Senior Fellow and Director, Community Economic Development Hub, Urban Institute (moderator)


This event and the related case study were commissioned and funded by the Emerson Collective. For more information on Urban’s funding policies, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Wednesday, January 18, 2023

  • Research Associate
  • Senior Fellow