PGCSIF 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 a broad range of challenges in Prince George’s County.
Our work is based on a fundamental belief that through innovative solutions, alignment across and within sectors, and a keen focus on results, Prince George’s County can quickly shift course on a broad number of issues facing its most vulnerable populations. PGCSIF’s vision is to continuously identify appropriate models that support the County’s infrastructure across public, private, religious, and non-profit sectors for improved quality of life. We recognize the pockets of opportunity in the County, as well as the disconnection between the multiple stakeholders who are attempting to address many of the same issues, largely in an unorganized or uncoordinated way. Our expectation is that by identifying best and innovative practice, supporting the local infrastructure, and aligning outcomes, we can bridge these gaps and quickly increase impact.
Our ApproachThe core tenets of our work include: 1. Supporting pilots initiatives that attempt to solve pressing social challenges (directly or by supporting social entrepreneurs); 2. Creating a leadership pipeline that supports non-profits and strengthens their capacity; and 3. Focusing on results – through community collaboratives, strategic alignment across sectors, and results measurement and reporting – for impact.
Why 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 $70K 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 National Capital Region in home foreclosures, crime, poverty, 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 to already challenged local institutions and a politically embroiled local 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.