Louisville Has the Capacity to Invest More in Itself
The Greater Louisville Project’s (GLP) 2018 report indicated that over the last 15 years, Louisville has not made the progress in our Deep Drivers that would enable us to reach our community’s goals. As a follow-on to that report, the GLP was asked to investigate the resources being invested in our community across the social, public, and private sectors.
That analysis was complex, but the results clear: Louisville is investing less than the majority of our peer cities in both the public and social sectors in terms of per capita dollars. Our private sector investment is comparable with our peers.
Diving deeper, we can see that while more than 90% of high-income households (those who make more than $200,000/year) give to nonprofits, they give about 3.5% of their total income, compared to a peer city average of 4.5%. If we gave at our peer city mean, this would generate more than $80M for nonprofits and religious entities each year. This is compounded by the relative lack of endowed foundation assets, which means that Louisville’s nonprofit donations are in the bottom tier of our peer cities.
In the public sector, while the actual ranking varies somewhat depending on the methodology used, Louisville’s government spending per capita is in the bottom tier of our peer cities.
Private sector investing has fewer reporting requirements, but across some important metrics (small business loans, home loans, and venture capital investment), Louisville is in the middle tier of our peer cities. However, we are not taking full advantage of federal or CDFI resources.
The conclusion is clear, Louisville has the capacity to invest more in itself to advance a more competitive city.