Spatial Connections

Eric C. Twombly
September 1, 2004

Executive Summary
The location and accessibility of nonprofit services are key factors in promoting efficient
and effective service delivery networks for children and youth. Despite the importance of
understanding where child and youth nonprofits are located, there is no systematic
information on their spatial distribution and how their locational choices relate to the
residential patterns of children and youth, particularly in high poverty areas. Using a
newly developed dataset on nonprofit organizations in the D.C. area and the Urban
Institute?s Neighborhood Change Database, this study takes aim at this information gap
by providing the first empirical assessment of the spatial allocation of locally oriented
child and youth nonprofit resources in the D.C. metro area. Four key findings emerge:
? There is a wide spatial disparity in nonprofit resources for children and youth
across jurisdictions in the region.
Some jurisdictions have relatively small nonprofit child and youth infrastructures,
even when the sizes of their child populations are considered. In Prince William County,
for example, there is less than one nonprofit provider for every 1,000 children, compared
with three per 1,000 children in the District and more than six per 1,000 residents under
age 18 in Falls Church (see map 1). There are 1.1 nonprofits per 1,000 children and youth
in the region, as a whole. Per capita nonprofit expenditures in Prince William County are
also relatively low. These groups spend roughly $132,000 per 1,000 children, compared
with more than $4.4 million per 1,000 children in the District and $5.5 million per 1,000
in Falls Church. Overall, groups in the region spend roughly $1.2 million for every 1,000
children and youth. Per capita spending on children in poverty further highlights the
disparity in the availability of charitable resources among jurisdictions in the region.
? There is a slight mismatch between the locational distribution of child and youth
nonprofits and neighborhoods where high percentages of children live.
Less than two of every five child and youth nonprofits in the region, and one of every
four dollars of nonprofit spending, are situated in neighborhoods that are densely
populated with children, even though these areas comprise more than half of the
neighborhoods in the metropolitan area. The spatial disparity is sharpest in the District,
where nearly one-third of neighborhoods are densely populated with children, but only 21
percent of nonprofits and 13 percent of total nonprofit spending are sited in these areas.
? There are encouraging signs in the spatial distribution of nonprofit resources in
neighborhoods with significant child and adolescent needs.
First, the composition of nonprofit provision in neighborhoods with high rates of
child poverty is skewed toward social welfare organizations?the type of child- and
youth-serving groups most inclined to address directly the causes of child poverty?
instead of educational or youth development/recreation nonprofits. Second, child and
youth nonprofits in neighborhoods with high child poverty are generally on equal
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financial footing with organizations in neighborhoods where child poverty is less severe.
Third, there is a near perfect spatial connection in the District?where the child poverty
rate is heavily focused in the region?between the locational choices of child and youth
nonprofits and the distribution of neighborhoods with high child poverty.
? The chief determinants of the spatial distribution of child and youth nonprofits
across neighborhoods are child population and child poverty rates. These two
factors affect the locational allocation of nonprofit resources in different ways.
While higher rates of child poverty in neighborhoods relate to nonprofit activity,
particularly among social welfare organizations, greater proportions of children, without
regard to their socioeconomic background, relate to lower nonprofit activity, when
controlling for other demographic and socioeconomic factors. These findings may
suggest that because more affluent families are better able to access nonprofit services
that are located outside of their immediate residential neighborhoods, nonprofits that do
not focus specifically on serving the poor have no incentive to locate in immediate
proximity to potential clients. However, the needs of poorer children, and their more
limited ability to travel for services, may cause some nonprofits to locate in areas with
high child poverty. Other demographic and socioeconomic neighborhood indicators have
little bearing on child and youth nonprofit locational patterns in the D.C. region.
Discussion
The findings in this report provide a mixed view of the spatial relationship between child
and youth nonprofits and the children they aim to serve. Because the accessibility of
nonprofit resources is vital to strong social service systems, policymakers and community
leaders may want to explore methods to reduce the disparity in charitable activity for
children and youth across the region. One option is to provide general support to the
limited number of nonprofits that operate in the neighborhoods that appear to be
underserved. Local leaders may also want to build on the relatively strong spatial
allocation of social welfare nonprofits in neighborhoods with high child poverty by better
understanding the intricate interplay of economic and organizational factors that
encourage groups to locate in high need areas. We suspect that nonprofits are drawn to
high poverty neighborhoods because of a mix of socioeconomic needs and the
availability of space to run their operations. Alternatively, because neighborhoods change
and groups with fixed assets may be unable to move their physical operations, some
nonprofits may have already been supplying children and youth services in
neighborhoods where socioeconomic conditions have declined. A deeper exploration of
locational incentives can help community officials cultivate the capacity of existing
nonprofits and develop new groups in high poverty neighborhoods.
1
Spatial Connections: Examining the Location of Children and the Nonprofits That
Serve Them in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area
Eric C. Twombly and Jennifer Claire Auer
The Urban Institute
Since 1986, the Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Learning Center has provided a host of
services to children and youth in the District of Columbia. Today, it acts as a community
resource by supplying infant, toddler, and preschool programs for children and several
developmental activities for school-age youth. It also works with other local nonprofits in
the D.C. Healthy Families program to provide in- home visitation to assist first-time
parents in understanding child development issues. These programs make Calvary
Bilingual a vital social service agent for the community, but programming is only one
piece of what makes an effective social service nonprofit.
Another equally important component of success is accessibility. At the most
fundamental level, a nonprofit must be within reach of the children and youth it aims to
serve. Calvary Bilingual has accessibility on its side, too, because it is located on the
main artery that goes through the District?s Columbia Heights neighborhood. Not only
does Calvary Bilingual work to meet the needs of local kids through its extensive
programming, but children in Columbia Heights need only to walk a few blocks to find
this organization on Columbia Road.
Many community practitioners and scholars have good anecdotal accounts of
organizations like Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Learning Center to show how
resources can reach children in the D.C. region. But community leaders lack systematic
information on the spatial distribution of nonprofit providers to get these resources to
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neighborhoods of greatest need. As part of a broader study of nonprofits that serve
children and youth (Twombly 2004a, b), this study takes aim at this information gap by
providing the first empirical assessment of the spatial organization of child and youth
nonprofit resources in the D.C. metropolitan area.
The study is guided by the following research questions:
? How are nonprofit resources for children and youth distributed across the
jurisdictions in the region?
? How does the geographic distribution of nonprofit resources compare to the
residential patterns of children and youth in local neighborhoods in the D.C. area?
? To what extent are nonprofit resources located in neighborhoods with high rates of
child poverty?
? How do the locational patterns of child and youth nonprofits relate to the racial,
ethnic, and socioeconomic composition of neighborhoods in the region?
By addressing these questions, the study highlights the jurisdictions and types of
neighborhoods in the region with a strong array of nonprofit providers and those that may
lack the charitable infrastructure to meet the needs of local children and youth. Taken
together, the findings of the study can help community leaders, policymakers, and local
funders better target resources to specific types of neighborhoods with high needs but
limited charitable services.
METHODOLOGY AND DATA
The study uses descriptive statistics to examine the geographic distribution of local child
and youth nonprofit resources in the region. The study defines children and youth as
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newborns to those who are 17 years of age. Nonprofit resources are defined as the
organizations and their total expenditures. The study also uses a multivariate model to
assess the spatial relationship between nonprofit location and demographic,
socioeconomic, and other factors at the neighborhood level. More details on the
multivariate model are provided in appendix A.
The study includes jurisdictions in the geographic definition of the D.C. region
put forth by the Metropolitan Council of Governments. These jurisdictions include the
District; Montgomery, Prince George?s, and Frederick counties in Maryland; Arlington,
Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties in Virginia; and the independent cities of
Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park in Virginia. To ensure
the statistical robustness of the analysis, the study combines Fairfax County and Fairfax
City data, as well as Manassas and Manassas Park data. Census tracts are used as proxies
for neighborhoods. There are 910 neighborhoods in the 11 jurisdictions in the region.
Demographic and socioeconomic data were obtained from the Urban Institute?s
Neighborhood Change Database (NCD), a national file that is organized at the census
tract level for the 1970 through 2000 decennial census. Data on child- and youth-related
nonprofits were obtained from the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) and
several grantmakers in the region. The dataset?the D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database?
was constructed in the fall of 2003 and cleaned during the winter of 2003?2004. It
contains fiscal year 2000 data from nonprofits that filed the Form 990 with the U.S.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The dataset contains information on the chief location or
headquarters of each organization, and represents the most reliable, unduplicated count of
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nonprofit child and youth providers in the region. A detailed description of the dataset is
provided in appendix B.
The study uses the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) classification
to identify organizations in the D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database that have a primary
organizational purpose to serve children and youth. More details about the identification
of these groups are provided in appendix C. The study examines only nonprofits that are
locally oriented (that is, groups that are local affiliates of national organizations, such as
the Girl Scouts, or those that formed specifically to address local needs). Nonprofits in
the region with a national or international focus are excluded from the analysis. The study
includes 1,114 local nonprofits, which are divided into the following three categories of
direct child and youth service provision:
? Education includes preschools and early childhood educational providers, K?12
private schools, charter schools in the District, and other education nonprofits, such as
libraries and groups that supply afterschool or tutoring programs. Of the 1,114 local
nonprofit child and youth providers in the region, 292 (23.3 percent) are educationrelated.
? Youth development includes community facilities, youth centers, scouting and 4-H,
youth sports leagues, and camps. There are 306 local nonprofits (or 27.5 percent of all
providers) that focus on youth development.
? Social welfare includes groups that focus on adoption, foster care, the prevention of
abuse and neglect, child care, physical and mental health, crisis intervention and
counseling, delinquency prevention, and nonprofits that provide multiple services that
directly affect children. Social welfare is the largest category of local child and youth
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nonprofits. Of the 1,114 groups that serve children and youth in the region, 516 (46.3
percent) supply social welfare services.
All data were ?geocoded,? a process that uses GIS software to assign latitude and
longitude codes for mapping and spatial analytic purposes based on address information. 1
Some nonprofits could not be geocoded. These groups left blank the address field on their
Form 990, listed post offices boxes that could not be accurately geocoded, or had
incorrect address information that could not be identified by the GIS software. For a
handful of organizations, particularly youth sports leagues, the address information on the
Form 990 was for local parents rather than service delivery sites. These cases were not
assigned geocodes.
Through telephone calls to organizations or web searches, we were able to correct
the address data of several child and youth providers. Of the 1,114 nonprofits, 887 (or
roughly 80 percent) received latitude and longitude codes. The geocoded nonprofits are
significantly larger, more likely to work in the education and social welfare fields, and
are more likely to be located in the District or close- in suburbs than the non-geocoded
organizations. The most common type of non-geocoded nonprofit is local youth sports
leagues.
The chief limitation of the data is that they do not contain information on satellite
programs and mobile services, even though some providers operate in multiple
communities or several neighborhoods within specific jurisdictions in the region.
Therefore, this report does not address the connectivity or geographic coverage of all
programs for children and youth in the region. This is an important caveat for interpreting
the spatial findings below. Nevertheless, the study captures the geographic dispersion of
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the primary headquarters of local providers, which serve important roles in local
neighborhoods not only as access points for child and youth services, but also as anchors
for community stability and potential catalysts for economic redevelopment efforts
(Twombly 2001).
FINDINGS
The findings of the study are presented in four sections, each organized around the
research questions posed above. The first describes the availability of nonprofit resources
for children and youth in the 11 jurisdictions in the region. The second highlights how
these resources are spread across neighborhoods in the D.C. area. The third focuses
specifically on the availability of child and youth nonprofits in neighborhoods where
child poverty is high. The final section explores how the locational patterns of child and
youth nonprofits relate to the demographic and socioeconomic composition of
neighborhoods in the region.
How are nonprofit resources for children and youth distributed across the
jurisdictions in the region?
There is a relatively wide array of charitable resources for children and youth in the D.C.
metropolitan area. Indeed, the more than 1,100 local child- and youth-related groups in
the region spent nearly $1.3 billion in 2000 (Twombly 2004b). But while these groups are
found in every locality in the region, they are not evenly distributed. At the state level,
the District, Maryland, and Virginia each have roughly one-third of all local nonprofits
that serve children and youth (table 1). But at the county level, the District has the most
1 The GIS software used in this study is called ArcView.
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nonprofit providers (347), followed by Montgomery County (220 groups) and Fairfax
County (179 organizations). With only 14 groups in operation, Manassas has the fewest
number of child and youth providers in the region.
Spending by child and youth nonprofits also varies substantially by jurisdiction in
the region. At the state level, D.C.-based nonprofits had the highest aggregated spending
($503 million), followed by groups in the Maryland suburbs ($463 million), and those in
Northern Virginia ($330 million). Among localities, total spending was highest in the
District, followed by Montgomery County ($366 million) and Fairfax ($169 million). Not
surprisingly, small jurisdictions in the region tend to have low aggregate expenditures in
their child and youth nonprofit sectors. Prince William County had nonprofit spending of
$11.2 million in 2000, while Manassas had $5.7 million in expenditures that year. An
exception to low spending in small localities, however, is evident in Falls Church, a
community that, despite having only 15 local child and youth nonprofits, had nearly $14
million in nonprofit expenditures in 2000.
Local child and youth sectors in the region?s 11 jurisdictions also tend to
emphasize different program areas (table 2). For example, compared with the region as a
whole, child- and youth-related nonprofits in the District are more likely to supply social
welfare services (53.3 versus 46.3 percent) and significantly less likely to focus on youth
development and recreation (19.3 versus 27.5 percent). In contrast, the collection of child
and youth nonprofits in Prince William County are twice as likely to focus on youth
development and five times less likely to focus on education than groups in the entire
region. And local child and youth providers in Alexandria are more likely to provide
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social welfare and less inclined to supply youth development, recreation, and educational
services than child-related groups in the region, when taken together.
It makes some sense that the availability of nonprofit child and youth resources
varies across jurisdictions in the region. As shown in table 3, some jurisdictions, like
Fairfax and Montgomery County, simply have more children to serve than other
localities, and research on nonprofit formation suggests that groups will form to meet
local needs (Twombly 2003). Still, there appear to be fundamental differences in the
scope and output of local child and youth nonprofit sectors. Indeed, some jurisdictions
have relatively small nonprofit child and youth infrastructures, even when the sizes of
their child populations are considered. In Prince William County, for example, with
85,000 kids, there is less than one nonprofit provider for every 1,000 children. In
contrast, the District has 347 nonprofits and 114,000 kids, which equals 3 per 1,000
children. In the small jurisdiction of Falls Church, there are more than 6 per 1,000
residents under age 18 (see map 1). There are 1.1 nonprofits per 1,000 children and youth
in the region, as a whole.
Per capita nonprofit expenditures in Prince William County are also relatively
low. Groups in this county spend roughly $132,000 per 1,000 children, compared with
more than $4.4 million per 1,000 children in the District and $5.5 million per 1,000 in
Falls Church. Overall, groups in the region spend roughly $1.2 million for every 1,000
children and youth (see map 2).
These findings illustrate an economic disparity in child and youth nonprofit
resources in the region and show that the size of the jurisdiction is not necessarily the best
gauge for the organizational or financial resource base for children and youth at the local
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level. Other factors may be at play. For example, Prince William County is one of the
fastest growing jurisdictions in Northern Virginia, and it is likely that the limited
nonprofit resources for children reflects a lag in the development of its child and youth
nonprofit sector. But even in Prince George?s County, a relatively well-developed
jurisdiction in the Maryland suburbs, the availability of and spending by child and youth
nonprofits are relatively low, compared with the population of children that likely needs
their services.
Child poverty and nonprofit resources in the region?s jurisdictions. Child
poverty places heavy demands on nonprofit resources. Poor children face greater social
and economic challenges than those from more affluent families, and nonprofit
organizations are often the frontline access points for meeting their needs. In the D.C.
metro area, child poverty rates vary substantially. It is highest in the District (32 percent)
and lowest in Loudoun County (3 percent). The D.C. metro region, on the whole, has a
child poverty rate of 9.5 percent.
Examining child poverty and the distribution of child- and youth-related
nonprofits and their expenditures further highlights the disparity in the availability of
charitable resources among jurisdictions in the metro region. For example, despite the
District having the most child and youth no nprofits of any jurisdiction in the region, it has
relatively few nonprofits to meet the needs of its tens of thousands of children and youth
in poverty. As shown in table 4, the District has one nonprofit provider for every 100
poor children, a per capita rate trailed only by Prince William and Prince George?s
counties (see also map 3).
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Per capita spending is lowest in Prince William County ($224,000 per 100
children in poverty), where it is more than five times lower than the regional norm ($1.3
million). Prince George?s County ($344,000), Manassas ($546,000), and Frederick
County ($995,000) also have relatively low nonprofit spending for children in poverty
(see map 4). In contrast to these localities, Falls Church exhibits substantial nonprofit
spending relative to the distribution of its poor children. In fact, the local nonprofit child
and youth sector in Falls Church spends roughly $10.2 million per 100 children in
poverty. While not all child and youth nonprofits target children in poverty, and not all
nonprofit spending is applied to programs that ameliorate poverty, these findings
reinforce the view of the wide economic disparity among local charitable infrastructures
for children and youth in the region.
How does the geographic distribution of nonprofit resources compare to the
residential patterns of children and youth in local neighborhoods in the D.C. area?
Looking within jurisdictions, there is an acute need to know what organizations are
available for children at the neighborhood level because the extent of charitable resources
in a particular neighborhood can be a key factor in the successful social and cognitive
development of local children. The 910 neighborhoods (or census tracts) in the D.C area
were home to roughly 1.05 million children in 2000. In some neighborhoods, the
proportion of children is very high. About half of the neighborhoods in the region (or 457
census tracts) have populations with more than one in four residents under the age of 18
(table 5). These ?high child density? neighborhoods are particularly numerous in the
Maryland suburbs (61.5 percent), less numerous in the Northern Virginia jurisdictions
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(48.2 percent), and are comparatively few in number in the District (30.3 percent). Given
the high density of children in many of these neighborhoods, one might expect that child
and youth nonprofits would be drawn to these tracts because they contain a preexisting
demand for nonprofit services and programs.
The data, however, show a slight mismatch between the locational distribution of
child and youth nonprofits and areas where a high percentage (25 percent or more) of
children live. Less than two of every five nonprofit child and youth nonprofits in the
region are located in these high child density areas (table 5). Not only is there an apparent
spatial mismatch between the location of nonprofits and neighborhoods where high
proportions of children live, but nonprofit providers in these neighborhoods are smaller,
on average, than those in less dense neighborhoods. Nonprofits in high child density
neighborhoods account for roughly one of every four dollars spent on child and youth
services in the region, despite the fact that they comprise more than half of all nonprofit
providers in this study (see table 6).
Although the data cannot unravel why nonprofits tend to locate in lower density
neighborhoods, there are several possible explanations. First, neighborhoods change and
residential patterns shift over time. For long-standing nonprofits that own the property
from which they deliver services, it can be difficult to move to other locations. One result
of fixed-place immobility is the need to develop satellite offices and mobile service
delivery options, which can increase the cost of doing business for providers.
Another potential explanation relates to the type of services provided. Child care
services, for example, often are not in high child density areas in the region, and, instead,
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are generally located in more commercial areas, possibly in response to the demands of
parents who want to be near their children during the workday.
The analysis suggests, too, that the geographic mismatch between nonprofit
organizations and neighborhoods that are densely populated with children varies
substantially across the localities in the region. Indeed, in some jurisdictions,
neighborhoods with relatively high proportions of children appear to be reasonably well
stocked with nonprofit providers. For example, despite the relatively underdeveloped
nature of the child and youth nonprofit sector in Prince William County, all of its
providers are located in the jurisdiction?s high child density areas (table 5).
The District contrasts sharply with Prince William County, however. The District
has the biggest mismatch between the locations of nonprofits and the areas where high
proportions of children live. D.C. has 57 high child density areas, but only 21 percent of
nonprofits are located in these areas. These groups account for only 13 percent of all
spending in the District on child and youth services (table 6). It appears that some of the
child and youth activity occurs in relatively tight geographic bands in the downtown
cluster and along the 14th Street (NW) and 16th Street (NW) corridors. These strips
include significant commercial development with considerable retail space for charities
and businesses. The well-developed public transportation system in the District may
lessen the potentially negative impact of a geographic mismatch between the location of
nonprofits and the children they aim to serve. But Frederick County, which also shows a
slight locational mismatch, has a less developed transit system and is largely rural. Here,
the locational disparity between nonprofits and the children and youth may create
physical barriers to effective and efficient service delivery.
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To what extent are nonprofit resources located in neighborhoods with high rates of
child poverty?
Nonprofits are particularly important in neighborhoods where child poverty is high.
Emergency food and shelter services, adolescent parenting programs, and violence
prevention initiatives are more inclined to be needed in neighborhoods with high child
poverty than in better-off areas in the metro region. Nonprofit organizations are typically
the frontline providers of these services, and children in poor neighborhoods must be able
to readily access these services.
Of the 910 neighborhoods in the region, 152 (or 17 percent) have high rates of
child poverty (table 7).2 The geographic dispersion of these neighborhoods is also not
random in the region. Instead, they tend to be heavily concentrated in the District. Table 7
shows that more than two-thirds of all neighborhoods with high child poverty are located
in the District, and more than half (56 percent) of the neighborhoods in D.C. are high
child poverty areas. Clearly, the District is the epicenter for abject child poverty in the
region.
Despite this grim picture, the data reveal several positive developments regarding
the distribution of nonprofit resources in neighborhoods with significant child and
adolescent needs. First, the composition of nonprofit provision in neighborhoods with
high child poverty is skewed toward social welfare organizations?groups that directly
address the symptoms and causes of poverty. While 48 percent of providers in
neighborhoods with low or moderate rates of child poverty focus on social welfare,
2 For the purpose of this study, a neighborhood is defined as a high child poverty area if its rate of child
poverty is 19 percent or greater, which is twice the regional child poverty rate of 9.5 percent in 2000.
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nearly 60 percent of groups in areas with high rates of child poverty work on social
welfare issues (table 8). While education and youth development/recreation nonprofits
are important for the fabric of local neighborhoods and addressing the needs of children
from all socioeconomic backgrounds, nonprofits that supply social welfare services may
be best equipped to meet the immediate needs of children in poverty.
Second, child and youth nonprofits in neighborhoods with high rates of child
poverty are generally on equal financial footing with organizations in neighborhoods
where child poverty is less severe. In fact, groups in areas where child poverty is
extensive have average revenues and expenses of $3.5 million and $3.0 million,
respectively, compared with $3.6 million in average revenue and $3.3 in average
expenses for child and youth nonprofits in other parts in the region (table 8). Nonprofits
in the two typ es of neighborhoods do differ significantly in asset holdings, but the
variation in assets is largely attributable to the location of several well-capitalized K?12
educational institutions in relatively wealthy neighborhoods in the region.
Third, there is a near perfect spatial connection in the District?where the child
poverty rate is highest in the region?between the locational choices of child and youth
nonprofits and the distribution of neighborhoods with high rates of child poverty. In D.C.,
56 percent of nonprofit child and youth organizations are located in neighborhoods where
child poverty is extensive, and these neighborhoods comprise 56 percent of all areas in
the District (table 9). The general geographic match between nonprofit child and youth
providers and neighborhoods with high rates of child poverty is evident in other parts of
the region, as well. In Alexandria, for example, 31 percent of all child- and youth-related
15
nonprofits are located in neighborhoods where the rate of child poverty is substantial;
these areas comprise 22 percent of all neighborhoods in the city.
How do the locational patterns of child and youth nonprofits relate to the racial,
ethnic, and socioeconomic composition of neighborhoods in the region?
In a strictly theoretical sense, nonprofits?like all organizations?have an incentive to
locate near potential clients. But as this study has shown, the connection between the
residential patterns of children and youth and the spatial distribution of the nonprofits that
serve them in the region is not entirely straightforward. Research suggests other factors
that may relate to the locational choices of nonprofit organizations. In separate studies,
McPherson (1983) and Wolch and Geiger (1983) determined that nonprofits generally
site near available financial resources. Wolpert (1988, 1993) charted the disparate
degrees of generosity across metropolitan areas and concluded that social service
providers are more likely to locate in central cities, where social service needs tend to be
greater than in suburban communities. Baum and Haveman (1997) suggest that
organizations may locate in ?crowded? areas where they are physically close to other
providers, which allows them to share information and resources, spread infrastructure
costs among several groups, access pools of qualified labor, and reduce the search costs
of potential clients (see also Bielefeld and Murdoch 1995, 2004).
In the D.C. metro region, however, the chief determinants of the spatial
distribution of child and youth nonprofits are two counterintuitive factors. While higher
rates of child poverty in neighborhoods relate to greater levels of nonprofit activity,
particularly among social welfare organizations, greater proportions of children, without
16
regard to their socioeconomic background, relate to lower nonprofit activity, when
controlling for other demographic and socioeconomic factors. These findings suggest that
because more affluent families are better able to access nonprofit services located outside
of their immediate residential neighborhoods, nonprofits that do not focus specifically on
serving the poor have no incentive to locate in immediate proximity to potential clients
(Wolpert 1993). However, the needs of poorer children, and their more limited ability to
travel for services, may cause some nonprofits to locate in areas with high rates of child
poverty.
Other demographic and socioeconomic neighborhood indicators appear to have
little bearing on child and youth nonprofit locational patterns in the D.C. region. For
example, neighborhood size, measured as total population, and racial and ethnic
composition have no statistically significant effect on the distribution of child and youth
groups in the region (table 10). Median household income (a proxy for the availability of
community financial resources) and the median rental value (a proxy for the affordability
of space from which to provide nonprofit services) are positively correlated with child
and youth nonprofit location in local neighborhoods, but neither factor is statistically
significant.
DISCUSSION
The location and accessibility of nonprofit services are key factors in promoting efficient
and effective service delivery networks for children and youth. This study presents a
mixed review on the spatial connection between nonprofit organizations and the children
and youth they aim to serve in the Washington, D.C., region. On the one hand, there is a
17
clear economic disparity in nonprofit resources for children across jurisdictions and
neighborhoods in the region. Some communities simply have more developed nonprofit
sectors for children and youth than others. In Falls Church, for example, there is an
abundance of nonprofit resources. In Prince William and Prince George?s counties,
charitable infrastructures for children and youth seem minimal and underdeveloped.
Moreover, the location of nonprofits?at least their chief headquarters?is
negatively correlated with the residential patterns of children and youth in the region, and
there is a relative absence of charitable activity in neighborhoods with high proportions
of children. On the surface, these findings should raise concern among community
leaders, funders, and policymakers, because, at a minimum, children and their families
must be able to physically reach social service agencies.
On the other hand, there is a strong and positive link between the locational
choices of some nonprofits, particularly social welfare organizations, and neighborhoods
with severe pockets of child poverty. Indeed, the motivation behind nonprofit location
appears to change dramatically in neighborhoods where child poverty is extensive. The
Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Center in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in D.C. is
a prime example of this nonprofit locational pattern. Although Columbia Heights does
not have a high proportion of children among its population, it has extreme child poverty.
Indeed, more than 40 percent of the children in Columbia Heights fall below the poverty
line?a rate that is more than four times greater than the child poverty rate for the region
on the whole. Thus, while the spatial mismatch of child and youth nonprofits and their
potential clients, in toto, may signal a potentially inefficient distribution of nonprofit
resources in the region, many neighborhoods with significant social and economic needs
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have some degree of nonprofit infrastructure, presumably providing poor children with
immediately accessible services.
An important caveat to this study is that some providers work in multiple
communities, and their scope of service provision may not be adequately reflected in the
data. The role of faith-based organizations may also reduce the slight disconnect between
the spatial distribution of child and youth resources and the residential patterns of
children in the region. Nevertheless, the locational distribution of nonprofit headquarters
is important not only as service delivery sites, but also as physical community anchors
around which other charities and businesses can develop.
Because the accessibility of nonprofit resources is vital to strong social service
systems, these findings should ring a cautionary note. Community leaders may want to
explore methods to reduce the disparity in charitable activity for children and youth
across the region. One option is to invest in the limited number of nonprofits that operate
in the neighborhoods that appear to be underserved. Another is to promote capacity
building strategies through start- up grants and general support to formalize the
development of new nonprofits in these areas.
Community leaders may also consider building on the relatively strong presence
of social welfare nonprofits in neighborhoods with high child poverty by better
understanding the intricate interplay of economic and organizational factors that
encourage groups to locate in high need areas. The findings show that, except for the
residential distribution of children and child poverty, demographic and socioeconomic
factors at the neighborhood level appear to play a limited role in the geographic choices
of child and youth nonprofits. We suspect that organizations locate in high poverty
19
neighborhoods because of a mix of social and economic needs and the availability of
space to run their operations. Otherwise, because neighborhoods change over time and
groups with fixed assets may be unable to move their physical operations, some
nonprofits may have already been supplying child and youth services in neighborhoods
where socioeconomic conditions have declined. A deeper exploration of locational
incentives can help community officials cultivate the capacity of existing nonprofits and
develop new groups in high poverty neighborhoods.
REFERENCES
Baum, Joel A. C., and Heather A. Haveman. 1997. ?Love Thy Neighbor? Differentiation
and Agglomeration in the Manhattan Hotel Industry, 1898?1990.? Administrative Science
Quarterly 42: 304?38.
Baum, Joel A. C., and Christine Oliver. 1996. ?Toward an Institutional Ecology of
Organizational Foundings.? Academy of Management Journal 39: 1378?1427.
Bielefeld, Wolfgang. 2001. ?The Geography of Nonprofit Sectors.? In International
Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by N. J. Smelser and P. B. Bates.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.
Bielefeld, Wolfgang, and James C. Murdoch. 1995. ?Determinants of the Spatial
Patterning of Nonprofits in a Metropolitan Region.? Political Economy Working Paper,
University of Texas at Dallas.
???. 2004. ?The Locations of Nonprofit Organizations and Their For-Profit
Counterparts: An Exploratory Analysis.? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
33(2): 221?46.
McPherson, James M. 1983. ?An Ecology of Affiliation.? American Sociological Review
65: 791?823.
Twombly, Eric C. 2003. ?What Factors Affect the Entry and Exit of Nonprofit Human
Service Organizations in Metropolitan Areas?? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
32(2): 211?35.
20
???. 2004a. ?Nonprofit Resources for Children and Youth in the Washington, D.C.,
Metropolitan Region.? Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
???. 2004b. ?Accounting for Kids: The Financial Structure and Fiscal Health of
Nonprofit Child and Youth Providers in the D.C. Metropolitan Region.? Washington,
DC: The Urban Institute.
Twombly, Jennifer Gilligan. 2001. ?An Exploration of Neighborhood Racial Change in
the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area and An Analysis of Factors Influencing
Neighborhood Racial Stability.? Washington, DC: George Washington University.
Wolch, Jennifer, and R.K. Geiger. 1983. ?The Urban Distribution of Voluntary
Resources: An Exploratory Analysis.? Environment and Planning A 15: 1067?82.
Wolpert, Julian. 1988. ?The Geography of Generosity: Metropolitan Disparities in
Donations and Support for Amenities.? Annals of American Association Geographers 78:
665?79.
???. 1993. Patterns of Generosity in America: Who?s Holding the Safety Net? New
York: The Twentieth Century Fund Press.
Wolpert, Julian, and John E. Seley. 2004. ?Nonprofit Services in New York City?s
Neighborhoods: An Analysis of Access, Responsiveness, and Coverage.? The New York
City Nonprofits Project.
21
TABLES and MAPS
Table 1. Distribution of Child and Youth Nonprofits and Their Spending,
by Jurisdictions in the D.C. Metropolitan Region, 2000
Jurisdiction N % $ %
District of Columbia 347 31.1 503,389,300 38.8
Maryland
Frederick 63 5.7 27,223,247 2.1
Montgomery 220 19.7 366,472,901 28.3
Prince George?s 117 10.5 69,202,128 5.3
Subtotal: Maryland 400 35.9 462,898,276 35.7
Virginia
Alexandria 40 3.6 54,205,874 4.2
Arlington 45 4.0 56,006,001 4.3
Fairfaxb 179 16.1 168,923,266 13.0
Falls Church 15 1.3 13,540,603 1.0
Loudoun 37 3.3 20,802,724 1.6
Manassasc 14 1.3 5,680,823 0.4
Prince William 37 3.3 11,259,442 0.9
Subtotal: Virginia 367 32.9 330,418,733 25.5
D.C. Metro Region 1,114 100.0 1,296,706,309 100.0
Source: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database, The Urban Institute
a. Spending amounts correspond to Form 990 filers in 2000. Of the 1,114 local
child and youth providers, 79.2 percent filed Form 990.
b. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
c. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Total spending by nonprofitsa Number of nonprofits
22
Table 2. Distribution of Local Nonprofits Serving Children and Youth in the D.C. Metro Region,
by Type of Provision, 2000
Jurisdiction N % N % N % N %
District of Columbia 95 27.4 67 19.3 185 53.3 347 100.0
Maryland
Frederick 7 11.1 23 36.5 33 52.4 63 100.0
Montgomery 75 34.1 57 25.9 88 40.0 220 100.0
Prince George?s 27 23.1 40 34.2 50 42.7 117 100.0
Subtotal: Maryland 109 27.3 120 30.0 171 42.8 400 100.0
Virginia
Alexandria 5 12.5 7 17.5 28 70.0 40 100.0
Arlington 14 31.1 12 26.7 19 42.2 45 100.0
Fairfaxa 54 30.2 58 32.4 67 37.4 179 100.0
Falls Church 2 13.3 3 20.0 10 66.7 15 100.0
Loudoun 9 24.3 16 43.2 12 32.4 37 100.0
Manassasb 2 14.3 3 21.4 9 64.3 14 100.0
Prince William 2 5.4 20 54.1 15 40.5 37 100.0
Subtotal: Virginia 88 24.0 119 32.4 160 43.6 367 100.0
D.C. Metro Region 292 26.2 306 27.5 516 46.3 1,114 100.0
Source: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database, The Urban Institute
a. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
b. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Education Youth development Social welfare Total
23
Table 3. Nonprofit Resources for Children and Youth in the D.C. Metro Region,
by the Number of Children in Jurisdictions, 2000
Jurisdiction
Number
of
children N Total spending
Nonprofits
per 1,000
children
Nonprofit
spending per
1,000 children
District of Columbia 114,332 347 $503,389,300 3.0 $4,402,873
Maryland
Frederick 53,764 63 $27,223,247 1.2 $506,347
Montgomery 220,580 220 $366,472,901 1.0 $1,661,406
Prince George?s 214,522 117 $69,202,128 0.5 $322,588
Subtotal: Maryland 488,866 400 $462,898,276 0.8 $946,882
Virginia
Alexandria 21,532 40 $54,205,874 1.9 $2,517,457
Arlington 30,944 45 $56,006,001 1.5 $1,809,915
Fairfaxa 250,043 179 $168,923,266 0.7 $675,577
Falls Church 2,444 15 $13,540,603 6.1 $5,540,345
Loudoun 50,436 37 $20,802,724 0.7 $412,458
Manassasb 13,604 14 $5,680,823 1.0 $417,585
Prince William 85,432 37 $11,259,442 0.4 $131,794
Subtotal: Virginia 454,435 367 $330,418,733 0.8 $727,098
D.C. Metro Region 1,057,633 1,114 $1,296,706,309 1.1 $1,226,046
Sources: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute; 2000 Decennial Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census
a. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
b. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Local nonprofits serving
children and youth
24
Map 1. Location of Nonprofits Serving Children and Youth and the Number of Nonprofits
per 1,000 Children in the D.C. Metro Area, by Jurisdiction
Nonprofits per 1,000 Children
(age 0-17)
Less than 1
1 - 2
More than 2
Montgomery
County
Loudoun
County
Frederick
County
Prince William
County
Fairfax
County Prince George's
County
District of
Columbia
City of
Fairfax
Arlington
County
Falls Church
Alexandria
Manassas
Park
Manassas
Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Urban Institute, 2004
Nonprofits Serving Children
and Youth
Map 2. Location of Nonprofits Serving Children and Youth and Their Combined Expenses per
1,000 Children in the D.C. Metro Area, by Jurisdiction
Nonprofit Expenses per 1,000
Children (age 0-17)
Less than $1 Million
$1 - $2 Million
More than $2 Million
Montgomery
County
Loudoun
County
Frederick
County
Prince William
County
Fairfax
County Prince George's
County
District of
Columbia
City of
Fairfax
Arlington
County
Falls Church
Alexandria
Manassas
Park
Manassas
Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Urban Institute, 2004
Nonprofits Serving Children
and Youth
Table 4. Nonprofit Resources for Children and Youth in the D.C. Metro Region,
by the Number of Children in Poverty in Jurisdictions, 2000
Jurisdiction
Children in
poverty N Total spending
Nonprofits
per 100
children in
poverty
Nonprofit
spending per 100
children in
poverty
District of Columbia 35,367 347 $503,389,300 1.0 $1,423,331
Maryland
Frederick 2,735 63 $27,223,247 2.3 $995,366
Montgomery 13,516 220 $366,472,901 1.6 $2,711,401
Prince George?s 20,108 117 $69,202,128 0.6 $344,152
Subtotal: Maryland 36,359 400 $462,898,276 1.1 $1,273,133
Virginia
Alexandria 3,027 40 $54,205,874 1.3 $1,790,746
Arlington 2,899 45 $56,006,001 1.6 $1,931,908
Fairfaxa 13,452 179 $168,923,266 1.3 $1,255,748
Falls Church 133 15 $13,540,603 11.3 $10,180,905
Loudoun 1,417 37 $20,802,724 2.6 $1,468,082
Manassasb 1,041 14 $5,680,823 1.3 $545,708
Prince William 5,031 37 $11,259,442 0.7 $223,801
Subtotal: Virginia 27,000 367 $330,418,733 1.4 $1,223,773
D.C. Metro Region 98,726 1,114 $1,296,706,309 1.1 $1,313,440
Sources: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute; 2000 Decennial Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census
Note: Dollars in thousands.
a. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
b. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Local nonprofits
27
Map 3. Location of Nonprofits Serving Children and Youth and the Number of Nonprofits per
100 Children in Poverty in the D.C. Metro Area, by Jurisdiction
Nonprofits per 100 Children
(age 0-17) in Poverty
Less than 1
1 - 2
More than 2
Montgomery
County
Loudoun
County
Frederick
County
Prince William
County
Fairfax
County Prince George's
County
District of
Columbia
City of
Fairfax
Arlington
County
Falls Church
Alexandria
Manassas
Park
Manassas
Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Urban Institute, 2004
Nonprofits Serving Children
and Youth
Map 4. Location of Nonprofits Serving Children and Youth and Their Combined Expenses per
100 Children in Poverty in the D.C. Metro Area, by Jurisdiction
Nonprofit Expenses per 100
Children (age 0-17) in Poverty
Less than $1 Million
$1 - $2 Million
More than $2 Million
Montgomery
County
Loudoun
County
Frederick
County
Prince William
County
Fairfax
County Prince George's
County
District of
Columbia
City of
Fairfax
Arlington
County
Falls Church
Alexandria
Manassas
Park
Manassas
Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Urban Institute, 2004
Nonprofits Serving Children
and Youth
Table 5. Distribution of Child and Youth Nonprofits in Neighborhoods in the D.C.
Metro Region Where More Than One-Quarter of the Population Are Children, 2000
Jurisdiction Number
% of all
neighborhoods Number
% of all nonprofit
providers
District of Columbia 57 30.3 64 20.8
Maryland
Frederick 23 71.9 23 56.1
Montgomery 95 53.7 73 41.0
Prince George?s 123 67.2 60 65.9
Subtotal: Maryland 241 61.5 156 50.3
Virginia
Alexandria 0 0.0 0 0.0
Arlington 3 7.7 1 2.6
Fairfaxa 77 45.3 57 43.2
Falls Church 1 33.3 5 50.0
Loudoun 29 90.6 18 85.7
Manassasb 6 100.0 8 100.0
Prince William 43 89.6 25 100.0
Subtotal: Virginia 159 48.2 114 42.4
D.C. Metro Region 457 50.2 334 37.7
Sources: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute; 2000 Decennial Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census
a. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
b. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Neighborhoods where more
than 25% of population are
under 18
Location of children and youth
nonprofits in neighborhoods where
more than 25% of population are
under 18
30
Table 6. Distribution of Child and Youth Spending in Neighborhoods in the D.C.
Metro Region Where More Than One-Quarter of the Population Are Children, 2000
Jurisdiction Number
% of all
neighborhoods $
% of spending by all
nonprofits
District of Columbia 57 30.3 62,970,312 13.5
Maryland
Frederick 23 71.9 5,959,615 23.9
Montgomery 95 53.7 118,818,535 37.0
Prince George?s 123 67.2 17,712,080 27.2
Subtotal: Maryland 241 61.5 142,490,230 34.7
Virginia
Alexandria 0 0.0 0 0.0
Arlington 3 7.7 87,674 0.2
Fairfaxa 77 45.3 69,908,815 45.0
Falls Church 1 33.3 11,748,809 89.3
Loudoun 29 90.6 15,014,672 78.8
Manassasb 6 100.0 1,492,660 100.0
Prince William 43 89.6 8,772,078 98.9
Subtotal: Virginia 159 48.2 107,024,708 35.0
D.C. Metro Region 457 50.2 312,485,250 26.4
Sources: DC Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute; 2000 Decennial Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census
a. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
b. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Neighborhoods where more
than 25% of population are
under 18
Spending by children and youth
nonprofits located in neighborhoods
where more than 25% of population
are under 18
31
Table 7. Distribution of Neighborhoods in Jurisdictions in the D.C. Metro Region,
by Level of Child Poverty in 2000
Jurisdiction N % N % N %
District of Columbia 106 56.4 82 43.6 188 100.0
Maryland
Frederick 3 9.4 29 90.6 32 100.0
Montgomery 7 4.0 170 96.0 177 100.0
Prince George?s 19 10.4 164 89.6 183 100.0
Virginia
Alexandria 7 21.9 25 78.1 32 100.0
Arlington 3 7.7 36 92.3 39 100.0
Fairfaxb 6 3.5 164 96.5 170 100.0
Falls Church 0 0.0 3 100.0 3 100.0
Loudoun 0 0.0 32 100.0 32 100.0
Manassasc 0 0.0 6 100.0 6 100.0
Prince William 1 2.1 47 97.9 48 100.0
D.C. Metro Region 152 16.7 758 83.3 910 100.0
Sources: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute; 2000 Decennial Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census
a. A neighborhood is defined as a high child poverty area if its rate of child poverty is
19 percent or greater, which is twice the regional child poverty rate of 9.5 percent in 2000.
b. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
c. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Moderate or low
child poverty High child povertya All
Type of neighborhood
32
Table 8. Characteristics of Local Child and Youth Nonprofits by Level
of Child Poverty Neighborhoods in the D.C. Metro Region, 2000
In neighborhoods with
high child povertya
In neighborhoods with low or
moderate child poverty
Type % %
Education 24.9 31.6
Youth development 15.6 20.4
Social welfare 59.6 48.0
Resources (averages) $ $
Revenue 3,441,277 3,591,776
Expenses 3,045,739 3,268,488
Total assets 3,598,775 5,118,415
Total liabilities 1,432,744 1,615,142
Location % %
District of Columbia 76.9 20.4
Frederick 2.7 5.3
Montgomery 4.0 25.5
Prince George?s 6.7 11.5
Alexandria 4.9 3.6
Arlington 2.2 5.0
Fairfaxb 2.2 19.2
Falls Church 0.0 1.5
Loudoun 0.0 3.2
Manassasc 0.0 1.2
Prince William 0.4 3.6
Sources: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute; 2000 Decennial Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census
a. A neighborhood is defined as a high child poverty area if its rate of child poverty is
19 percent or greater, which is twice the regional child poverty rate of 9.5 percent in 2000.
b. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
c. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Location of local child and youth nonprofits
33
Table 9. Distribution of Local Child and Youth Nonprofits by Level
of Child Poverty Neighborhoods in the D.C. Metro Region, 2000
Jurisdiction
% of all
neighborhoods
% of
nonprofit
providers
% of all
neighborhoods
% of
nonprofit
providers
District of Columbia 56.4 56.2 43.6 43.8
Maryland
Frederick 9.4 14.6 90.6 85.4
Montgomery 4.0 5.1 96.0 94.9
Prince George?s 10.4 16.5 89.6 83.5
Virginia
Alexandria 21.9 31.4 78.1 68.6
Arlington 7.7 13.2 92.3 86.8
Fairfaxb 3.5 3.8 96.5 96.2
Falls Church 0.0 0.0 100.0 100.0
Loudoun 0.0 0.0 100.0 100.0
Manassasc 0.0 0.0 100.0 100.0
Prince William 2.1 4.0 97.9 96.0
D.C. Metro Region 16.7 25.4 83.3 74.6
Sources: D.C. Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute; 2000 Decennial Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census
a. A neighborhood is defined as a high child poverty area if its rate of child poverty is
19 percent or greater, which is twice the regional child poverty rate of 9.5 percent in 2000.
b. Fairfax includes Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
c. Manassas includes Manassas City and Manassas Park.
Neighborhoods with high
child povertya
Neighborhoods with moderate
or low child poverty
34
Table 10. Predictors of the Location of Local Nonprofits for Children and Youth
in Neighborhoods in the Washington, D.C., Metro Region
Variable Coefficient SE Signif. p
Demographics
Total population (per 1,000 residents) 0.01 0.03 0.73
Percent of population aged 0 to 17 -6.22 1.39 ** 0.01
% African American population 0.30 0.44 0.50
% Hispanic population -0.38 1.32 0.77
% Foreign born population 1.92 1.11 0.09
Socioeconomic
Median household income (per $10,000) 0.05 0.05 0.27
% of population age 0 to 17 in poverty 2.38 0.77 ** 0.01
Median gross rent (per $100) 0.02 0.03 0.58
Location (fixed effects)
Alexandria 0.00 0.44 1.00
Arlington County -0.61 0.40 0.13
Fairfax -0.63 0.33 0.06
Falls Church 1.04 0.88 0.24
Frederick County 0.50 0.46 0.28
Loudoun County 0.32 0.54 0.55
Manassas 2.33 1.06 * 0.03
Montgomery County -0.33 0.32 0.31
Prince George's County -0.52 0.28 0.07
Prince William County 0.01 0.47 0.98
Constant 2.45 0.40 ** 0.01
Sources: DC Regional Nonprofit Database and Neighborhood Change Database,
The Urban Institute
Note: The District of Columbia is the reference group in the model.
R-squared = 0.18
* p ** p 35
36
Appendix A: Construction of the Multivariate Model
The study uses an ordinary least squares model to relate the spatial distribution of local
nonprofit child and youth organizations to several demographic and socioeconomic
variables. The model is performed at the census tract level, which serves as a proxy for
neighborhoods in the region. The dependent variable is the number of local child and
youth nonprofits in any particular census tract.
Demographic and socioeconomic variables are included in the model as independent
predictors of the location of nonprofit providers. Demographic factors are total
population, percentage of the population under the age of 18, and the percentages of the
population who are African American, Hispanic, or foreign born. Socioeconomic factors
include the child poverty rate, median household income, and median gross rent. Median
household income is a proxy for the availability of wealth in a neighborhood. Median
gross rent is a proxy for the relative locational costs borne by nonprofits to operate in a
given neighborhood. The inclusion of these variables in predicated on existing theory and
research on nonprofit locational choices (Bielefeld 2001; McPherson 1983; Wolch and
Geiger 1983; Wolpert 1988, 1993; Wolpert and Seley 2004) and factors that impact the
agglomeration of organizations in local areas (Baum and Haveman 1997; Ba um and
Oliver 1996; Bielefeld and Murdoch 1995, 2004).
Dummy variables for the jurisdictions in the Maryland suburbs or the Northern Virginia
suburbs were also included in the model to capture the fixed effect differences across
localities in region. The District is the reference group in the model. These variables
theoretically account for the variation in county and city- level approaches to
policymaking and other differences that can affect the locational choices of nonprofit
organizations in the region.
37
Appendix B: Nonprofit Data Source
The primary nonprofit data source of the study is the National Nonprofit Organizational
Database (NNOD), which is a multiyear data file produced by the National Center for
Charitable Statistics (NCCS) at the Urban Institute. The NNOD contains roughly 650,000
observations of public charities that filed Form 990 with the IRS from 1998 to 2000. It
has detailed financial and program information that is missing from other nonprofit files.
This study examines nonprofits that filed in fiscal year 2000, which was the latest and
most complete set of records available in the NNOD when this study?s dataset was
constructed during the fall of 2003. The initial step to construct the dataset was to extract
information from the NNOD about groups that filed in fiscal year 2000 and were located
in the D.C. region. This process revealed 7,628 nonprofits. But because nonprofits with
less than $25,000 in gross receipts and religious congregations are not required to file the
Form 990, the NNOD underrepresents small organizations and religious groups. To
address this limitation of the NNOD, several lists were collected from foundations and
grantmakers in the region. The external lists were verified and merged with the NNOD
extract, a process that uncovered 509 additional nonprofits in the region. Combining the
NNOD extract and external directories created a final dataset?the D.C. Regional
Nonprofit Database?that includes information on 8,137 nonprofit organizations. Among
these groups, 1,114 are locally oriented nonprofits that primarily focus their programs
and activities on children and youth in the D.C. metro region.


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