Contents (each article available in PDF)
- Early Childhood Development Yields High Returns
by Arthur J. Rolnick and Rob Grunewald, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Public investments in projects like new stadiums never achieve returns equal to those from early childhood
education—which several small studies have assessed at 7 percent to 20 percent. Now Minnesota is testing whether scaling up can produce the same results.
- FIRST Robotics in Clinton, Massachusetts
by Judi Poe, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
School and business partnerships can strengthen the workforce. The vehicle for one such collaboration
is FIRST, a national robotics competition that a Massachusetts school district and plastics company Nypro Inc. have participated in since 1992: “the hardest fun ever.”
- Mapping New England: Community Colleges Serve Local Needs
by Kai-yan Lee, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
The spatial distribution of community colleges in New England generally corresponds to the concentration
of potential applicants.
- Viewpoint: Competitiveness and the Community College
by William D. Green, Accenture CEO
Bill Green is living proof that community colleges can lead to a great career. In this “Viewpoint,” he makes the case that they also can help U.S. business maintain its competitive edge while improving the economic resilience of local communities.
- Rebuilding a Community: Lessons from New Orleans
by Kenneth M. Reardon, Cornell University
Whether low-income communities are struggling to rebuild after a hurricane or after long neglect, the challenges often seem insurmountable. The New Orleans 9th Ward’s inclusive approach to decision making shows that the best revitalization plans are those with the broadest buy-in.
- Measuring Cultural Vitality in Communities
by Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D., The Urban Institute
Until recently, arts and culture data collected as part of urban revitalization planning focused on large institutions. The Urban Institute’s Arts and Culture Indicators Project provides a richer understanding of communities’ cultural strength and how it can boost economic development.
- The Evolution of Philanthropy
by Kerry Murphy
As philanthropy evolves, nonprofits are responding to trends that include donors’ increased emphasis on results, a movement to pool small contributions for targeted impact, and a preference for contributing
professional skills instead of baked goods.
- Green Investment Strategies: A Positive Force in Cities
by Susan M. Wachter, Kevin C. Gillen, and Carolyn R. Brown, University of Pennsylvania
Deterioration of urban neighborhoods is known to induce outmigration, but how well do public investments
to reverse decline actually work? To evaluate Philadelphia’s greening investment, researchers measured property buyers’ willingness to pay more—and found that greening works.
- The Heron Foundation Expands Philanthropy’s Reach
by Michael Swack, Southern New Hampshire University
Contrary to the perception of trade-offs between financial return and social impact, the F.B. Heron Foundation demonstrates that it’s possible to achieve competitive returns while incorporating mission-related investments into an overall portfolio and asset allocation.
- Public Investment in Higher Education
by Philip A. Trostel, University of Maine
Conservatively speaking, a college graduate generates $142,000 in state fiscal benefits over time while costing a state only $60,500. But trends in higher education allocations (4.1 percent of total state spending nationwide in 1984; 1.8 percent in 2004) suggest states have become shortsighted.
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