State of the Inland Empire Series
The state of nonprofits in the Inland Empire is improving in several respects, based on our analysis of IRS data on nonprofits, foundation giving data, employment data, and our surveys and interviews with regional nonprofit leaders. Boosting public and private investments in the region’s nonprofits is especially critical post-2020, given the context of a post-Census drop in funding to grassroots organizations and the economic havoc of COVID-19 that disproportionately hurts low-wage workers and communities heavily reliant on hospitality and retail.
Boosting funding in the Inland Empire is not just a matter of need, but also one of strategic opportunity. Investors would be well served to pay attention to emerging and innovative organizations, many led by youth and people of color. Investments in leadership development and advocacy also hold the promise of better leveraging state/federal dollars and growing public-private partnerships. Finally, our research indicates that diversity and inclusion are important priorities for executive leadership and board leadership critical for a region that is predominantly people of color, and fast-growing.
A community’s strength depends on its level of civic engagement, which includes voting, volunteerism, and other forms of civic and political participation. This is particularly true in the Inland Empire, a rapidly growing region of 4.6 million residents that is poised to add another 2 million in the next 40 years. It is also a racially diverse region where Latinos are a majority of the resident population, yet lag significantly behind in their level of civic engagement. This report provides a mix of historical, quantitative, and qualitative data with respect to civic engagement in the region.