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 $80K 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.
Over 60% of Prince George’s County resident’s works outside of the County, as private sector employment options are relatively low. While conveniently located near the Nation’s capital, there are few federal or state government offices housed within county boundaries. The non-profit sector is recognized by the philanthropic community as fledging, at best.
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 third sector using local talent to address local needs could potentially yield very high impact.
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