In August of 2019, CivicLex launched its Toward Viability report, examining the nonprofit sector as it is in Lexington in 2019: whom it employs, what it offers, and how it functions.
The nonprofit sector is integral to a city’s civic life - it offers an array of valuable services that fall outside of market desires and public necessities. Nonprofits provide essential community services, function as a significant economic sector, promote tourism, and make Lexington more hospitable to individuals and businesses looking to relocate.
In addition to building a more resilient community, nonprofits also play a role in retaining Lexington’s talent and potential. Attracting this pool of talented workers is the goal of most modern economic development strategies, especially those of larger metropolitan communities. When we lose these workers, colloquially referred to as a “brain drain”, we lose a core economic base that drives the vitality of our community and economy.
With the data provided in this report, we hope readers come away with a better understanding of how workers are faring within nonprofit organizations. We also hope readers start to think about potential changes that could help nonprofit workers and organizations better address their missions and retain their workforce. The data in this report must be a starting point if we want a nonprofit sector that is a healthy, effective, and strong supporter of the civic fabric of Lexington.