Nathan Butera was inspired by his own upbringing in Louisiana to assist Summer of Sass in their mission to bring LGBTQI+ teens from non-inclusive areas to Provincetown, Massachusetts, one of the most LGBTQ-inclusive places in the country. Nathan generously donated his time and commission to help them in their search. Read on to discover how he helped the organization find the perfect property, and his advice on remaining engaged in philanthropic giving year-round.
Tell us a bit about Summer of Sass! What initially inspired you to get involved with this organization?
Summer of Sass transforms lives by relocating LGBTQI individuals between 18 and 20 years old from oppressive areas in the United States to the welcoming community of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Having grown up myself a closeted queer in Louisiana, I understand the oppression and depression that existed then and still exists today for queer youth in many areas of our country. To really get an experience that exposes you to a community who loves and accepts you for who you are is a powerful thing. To meet people like you in different stages of life who are successful and thriving can change your life.
Walk us through the process of assisting Summer of Sass with their home search. What were some challenges you faced? Any fun highlights from the journey?
Initially, before holding her fundraising event, Summer of Sass founder Kristen Becker’s goal was to buy a two-bedroom condo for $1 million that would house four young adults. After her event, she had raised $2.5 million, so we began looking at guest houses. We identified a property she felt would be a great match for her program with the opportunity for some expansion. However, there was already an accepted offer on the property and the buyer was unwilling to budge.. We looked at other guest houses, but the donors providing the lion’s share of the funding favored a particular property that was a beautiful Victorian guest house on a sizable lot for $3.695 million. They supported its purchase if it worked for the program. Kristen was wary about growing the program too quickly and finding the continued financial support to run not just a bigger program, but a substantial property. But, with nine bedrooms that could change the lives of up to sixteen youths each summer, and the street presence and curb appeal that would grab the attention of future donors, Kristen decided the property was a wise investment. I think it underscores the power of Summer of Sass’s mission and the confidence the donors had in Kristen that they were willing to get behind such an impactful purchase. It also demonstrates what an influential symbol a home can be. I have no doubt that Kristen will use the prominence of the property and its potential for fundraising events to keep Summer of Sass alive for years to come.
As an agent focused on philanthropic giving, how do you stay engaged throughout the year?
As a real estate professional selling million dollar properties in a second-home market, I’ve made it a point to remain focused on the housing needs of locals and others for whom it is not easy to enjoy the beauty and spirit of acceptance that is Provincetown (and Truro and Wellfleet). I’m currently the chair of Provincetown’s Year Round Market Rate Rental Housing Trust and I’m on the Housing Task Force of the Cape Cod and Islands Association of REALTORS®. Keeping my focus on housing in all its forms helps not only my business, but my community, as well. To find such support and encouragement for my efforts from Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty has been icing on the cake. It’s nice to know they have my back.
Do you have any recommendations for those considering taking a deeper dive into philanthropy?
I think finding something truly meaningful to oneself is the most important step. Whether it be the environment, food insecurity, animal welfare, mentorship, or any number of areas in which the free market falls short, if you don’t really care about it, it’s not gonna stick. Find an organization that meets regularly and start connecting with others. Opportunities will emerge. And finally, keep your scope narrow and don’t get sidetracked with other causes that don’t fit into your personal mission. In so publicly supporting Summer of Sass and through my volunteer efforts, I am continually surprised by other personally lucrative opportunities that have presented themselves. It’s not why I do it, but I’m certainly not complaining.
To learn how you can help Summer of Sass, visit www.summerofsass.org
Connect with Nathan Butera at 508-237-8101 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty’s Provincetown office at 168 Commercial Street, Provincetown, Massachusetts.