I just came across the Google map mash-up of the Chronicle of Philanthropy top 400. First, just the simple fact that the Chronicle created this is just great — goes to show the power of a concrete image instead of a list. And better yet (though not obvious) you can click on the pins in the Google map to see each organization’s name, rank, and funds raised
At first blush what’s surprising is how evenly large non-profits are spread throughout the country. Not what I would have expected.
I do wish the Chronicle would take the map a step further, though, and I expect that they have the data and technology to do this easily. I’d love to be able to filter the map by type of organization and date founded (religious organizations; universities; charities founded before 1950 and 1970 and 1990, etc). We all know how hard it is to grow a new nonprofit — William Foster and Gail Fine’s great article last year in the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled “How Nonprofits Get Really Big” described this challenge incredibly well. Just one data point from the article: “the average founding year of the 10 largest U.S. nonprofits is 1903.”
So I’d love the Chronicle’s map to allow some filtering that would help illustrate and understand this point, so we could visually learn more about the makeup of the top 400.
(hat tip to www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com for pointing out the map)