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Forbes Magazine declares Houston a Model City; can our nonprofits take credit?

In Forbes Magazine’s June 7 issue, Joel Kotkin writes that Houston is the model for successful 21st-century urbanism, citing innovation, job growth and immigration among key growth factors. In the typical compare-and-contrast approach to other large cities with greater star power, Kotkin cites that Houston is off the opportunity chart in job creation vs. loss and uptick rather than decline in home values. Plus it is a city that invests in infrastructure and keeps costs low for business, ensuring growth well into the future.

Posting a comment to the online article, Houston’s Neighborhood Centers shares in the city’s kudos for the organization’s work ‘reviving inner-city neighborhoods’ as one of Houston’s 17,000 nonprofits. How much does the nonprofit community contribute to a city’s overall health and well-being and the key success factors in Mr. Kotkin’s article?

Houston boasts a large number of nonprofits, as does the state of Texas – 104,000+, nearly tied with New York state for the second-greatest number of registered organizations, according to recent NCCS data.

If the sheer number of orgs was a dominant factor contributing to a region’s rising fortunes than California’s outlook would be much rosier: The Golden State hosts the highest number of nonprofits, 10% of the total U.S. at a whopping 163,000+.

Nobody would deny that nonprofits improve and enrich the lives of our residents. Deeper understanding of the outcomes achieved by the investment of human and organizational capital in relation to Houston’s status as a world-class city and economic powerhouse could only enhance the importance of our nonprofit community in this new urbanism.