The rapid growth in poverty in the suburbs raises questions about the ability of nonprofit organizations to adapt to this new geography of metropolitan poverty. This analysis combines an original data set of foundation grants for social services with in-depth interviews to assess the role of foundations in supporting the suburban social safety net in the Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Detroit regions.

January 1, 2011

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Why the suburbs could benefit from nonprofits just as much as cities do.

  2. 2

    An examination of the extent of efforts to increase nonprofit capacity in the suburbs.

  3. 3

    About the success local foundations have had in taking a regional approach to poverty.

  4. 4

    What more can be done to create new nonprofit capacity in suburban areas with growing poverty.

Key Takeaway

In 2008, 12.5 million poor people lived in the suburbs, while 11 million poor lived in major cities.

The growth of suburban poverty over the past two decades challenges the longstanding association of cities with poverty and suburbs with the middles class. 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations