PROJECTThe Grounding Values Study: Exploring the Community Development Sector’s Challenges and Accomplishments to Shape Its Future

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  • Community-based development organizations, or CBDOs, serve the important missions of revitalizing, developing, empowering, and reinvesting in economically disadvantaged communities across the United States. For these nonprofits to best serve their communities, more information is needed about their financial capabilities, their accomplishments, the barriers they face, and the policy areas central to their work. 

    Building this knowledge is critical for understanding the sector’s overall health and identifying where further supports could help bolster and sustain CBDO activities. To that end, the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations launched the Grounding Values study in 2021 in partnership with the Urban Institute to study CBDOs nationwide.

    The research includes tax data analysis, a national census survey, and qualitative research around key themes. It is informed by a notable committee of national community development and affordable housing experts, advocates, and institutions. The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations and the Urban Institute will release Grounding Values study products through 2024, including reports, fact sheets, policy briefs, and public-use datasets.

    The study’s three phases are as follows:

    1. Understanding the Financial Health of Community-Based Development Organizations (published August 2022)
    2. Survey of Community-Based Development Organizations (published September 2023)
    3. Policy Briefs on Community Development Sector (to be published 2024)
    Research Areas Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Nonprofits and philanthropy
    Tags Housing affordability Community and economic development National Center for Charitable Statistics data Nonprofit data and statistics
    Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
    Research Methods Quantitative data analysis