Greensboro: One of America’s Most Generous Cities
As we continue our work throughout the broader region, PMA team members can’t resist the opportunity to spotlight a community that is doing exceptional work. Selected communities are setting new philanthropic standards, changing lives in the process, and addressing challenges and opportunities that are timely and speak to us all.
This month’s Community Spotlight is Greensboro, based in the Piedmont region and the third-largest city by population in the state of North Carolina. Sure, PMA has ties to Greensboro through friends and family, as well as through client engagements – including Guilford Technical Community College, Greensboro College and Children’s Home Society of North Carolina – but it’s Greensboro’s generosity that sets it apart from other regional communities.
A city that was once a textile and transportation hub in the early 1900s is now a flourishing center for businesses relocating from across the country.
Greensboro played a key role in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and desegregation, including the famous Woolworth’s Sit-In by four black college students, and the Greensboro Riots of 1969. Both events helped shape the social structure of the city and laid the foundation for the diverse city we see today.
Just as history has shaped Greensboro, so has the economy and the businesses associated with the area. Fed-Ex has regional operations based in the city while other notable companies headquartered in Greensboro include:
Attracting new businesses in high-tech, nanotech and transportation/logistics sectors is a priority for Greensboro leaders and higher education. A joint research park was opened by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University.
With seven higher education institutions in the area, it is no surprise that Greensboro has a robust arts and culture community. Offering something for everyone, popular among residents include the Greensboro Ballet, Carolina Theatre, City Arts, International Civil Rights Center & Museum, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum.
The city receives tremendous accolades for it generosity as well. Scarborough Research recently named Greensboro as the ninth-most giving market in the country. Gateway Education Center, United Way of Greater Greensboro, and the Greensboro Cerebral Palsy Association were mentioned in a recent news report.
A tremendous foundation presence thrives in Greensboro as well. With all that the foundations do on their own, equally impressive is their work done collaboratively. Action Greensboro is an organization supported by seven foundations to help shape the city into a more vibrant community that supports business recruitment initiatives.
As frequently noted by Greensboro’s Mayor Robbie Perkins, “I want to help our community develop and implement a shared vision for its future.”
While this point of view has often been crafted and implemented by selected icons of philanthropy within a given metropolitan area, Greensboro seems to have created a culture of generosity that transcends economic sectors and classes. Greensboro is both strategic and inclusive in its approach to addressing the needs of the community, and bolsters a sense of accountability that raises the standard for other regional communities.