Leading Together

Building Private Nonprofit Economic Development Organizations for Gateway City Growth & Renewal

Published Date : December 8, 2015
Author(s) : Ben Forman and Gordon Carr

Tackling 21st century economic development challenges requires robust private sector engagement. Fostering the growth of nonprofit economic development organizations is a promising strategy to build partnerships with the private sector in Gateway Cities. Through these entities, business leaders work collaboratively to help fashion economic development projects, initiatives, and policy advocacy. While these groups are generally created with similar missions, their organizational structures vary, and the differences influence their effectiveness.

This policy brief assesses the governance, funding, personnel, and missions of a diverse set of private nonprofit economic development organizations currently located in Gateway Cities. Drawing on this analysis and a growing body of literature on engaging the private sector in local economic development initiatives, the concluding sections summarize major themes for consideration by both local Gateway City leaders and state policymakers.

As an installment in our Leading Together series, this paper was specially prepared to spur conversation at a convening on private nonprofit economic development organizations held in Lawrence in December 2015. MassINC co-hosted the event with the Lawrence Partnership and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

Meet The Authors

Ben Forman

Research Director, MassINC

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