PGCSIF is building a social sector network in Prince George's County, using local talent to support better outcomes for vulnerable residents

The Prince George's County Social Innovation Fund works as a catalyst for social impact in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Its mission is to build social capital and invest in new approaches to solving social challenges in Prince George’s County.

Our approach is to work through the existing infrastructure - people and organizations - to multiply local success. We are an innovation lab, intent on addressing social sector problems with a sense of urgency and with a results-orientation. Because we work across sectors, our expenses are relatively low. But to expand the already good work of the PGCSIF - like Forty UNDER 40 2012 - we'll need your help. An investment in PGCSIF can yield a 'by 40' return on investment. Plant a seed and watch it grow!

About Prince George's County

Prince George’s County, Maryland is a locality of contrasts. The County is lauded as the most affluent predominately African American county in the United States. Eight-five percent of all residents over 25 have high school diplomas. The median family income is $60K per annum, well above the US median of $50K per annum. Amazingly, 40% of Prince George’s households earn over $100,000 per year. From an income and education perspective, the incredible promise of Prince George’s County is clearly demonstrated.

On the other hand, Prince George’s County schools rank 24th of 24 districts in the State of Maryland and more than 50% of all Prince George’s households are headed by a single parent. The County leads the region in home foreclosures and unemployment. Gentrification and rising home prices in neighboring Washington, DC have essentially forced out a significant percentage of poor and vulnerable populations in search of more affordable housing options into Prince George’s, adding increased pressure on County Government.

A recent Brookings Institute study notes that “Prince George’s County has an inadequate supply of non-profits” and hence the County is under-resourced when compared to neighboring jurisdictions. Given the immense upside possibilities for the County coupled with the tremendous need, building a strong non-profit sector using local talent to address local needs could potentially yield very high impact.

A unique approach to Non-profit Sector Strengthening:

In September of 2012, the PGCSIF launched the Forty UNDER 40 initiative as a means of recognizing the incredible talent that exists in Prince George’s County. We partnered with Envision Prince George’s, the Human Services Coalition of Prince George’s County, and the Community Foundation for Prince George’s County to launch, select, and recognize of an incredibly talented cohort of local leaders, ages 40 and under. These leaders represent excellence in Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, Public Service, Health and Fitness, and Science. These areas mirror the sectors (non-profit and business) that could benefit from additional support.

As such, we are now engaging this cohort of young professionals and leaders, successful in their own right, with local non-profits. The PGCSIF has established a leadership pipeline that begins with its Forty UNDER 40 cohort and has the potential to extend even further. We believe that stronger boards will higher yield stronger governance, fund-raising, and delivery of service to the County’s vulnerable populations. These efforts also increase social capital and are core to our PGCSIF’s theory of change.

Resources raised through this fundraising effort will be used for general operating purposes including hiring local summer staff in preparation of Forty UNDER 40 - 2013 and other PGCSIF initiatives.

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