Next City, Inc.

Inspiring Equitable Cities

aka Next City   |   Philadelphia, PA   |  www.nextcity.org

Mission

Next City is a nonprofit news organization that believes journalists have the power to amplify solutions and help spread them from one city to the next city. Our mission is to inspire greater economic, environmental, and social justice in cities. Next City’s civic-minded reporting makes urban places more effective, equitable and sustainable. We supply changemakers with information that fuels their fight for low-income neighborhoods. Because we focus the world’s attention on good ideas that we hope will grow, some label us as “solutions journalism.” Research has found that when news stories discuss potential answers to problems, readers leave feeling more knowledgeable and empowered to solve them. Where solutions journalism is healthy, America has more informed and engaged communities.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Lucas Grindley

Main address

P.O. Box 22449

Philadelphia, PA 19110 USA

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Formerly known as

Next American City

EIN

22-3886361

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (S05)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The knowledge-sharing we facilitate between cities across the globe is vital to the advancement of equity. The narratives that Next City covers reflect urbanism’s efforts to achieve a more equitable city; these storylines include how to bring people out of poverty, empower business owners of color, house the homeless, and more. Ask people in disinvested neighborhoods; they sometimes feel alone and overlooked. The doers and changemakers whom we target with our journalism worry sometimes that the naysayers are right. But hearing about success elsewhere is sometimes exactly what these folks need to inspire their work and push them past the obstacles they face. Next City is a nonprofit news organization uniquely positioned to help. We’re here to disprove the argument that “the system” is too big, and too entrenched. Change is not only possible—it’s already happening.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Vanguard Conference

Next City's Vanguard Conference is the premier formative experience for rising urban leaders committed to cultivating equity and sustainability in cities for the next generation. Vanguards aren’t just talking the talk. Every day, they work to counteract historical patterns of social, economic and environmental injustice in cities. The conference brings together professionals working across disciplines and sectors. Each Vanguard class includes policymakers and politicians, architects and urban planners, artists and media makers, all selected through a competitive application process. For 500 individuals and counting, and for more than 10 years, this conference has become an invaluable touchstone in their professional development. The Vanguard network includes mayors, heads of planning departments, and founders of leading design and architecture firms devoted to social justice.

Population(s) Served
Activists

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Next City is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities through journalism and events around the world. Because we focus the world’s attention on good ideas that we hope will grow, some label us as “solutions journalism.” For us, it’s just what we’ve always done since we were founded by three college students and their network of volunteers in 2003.

Emphasizing solutions, as we do at Next City, will give birth to more solutions. Research has found that when news stories discuss potential answers to problems, readers leave feeling more knowledgeable and empowered to solve them. Readers are statistically more likely to act, to donate to support an organization, and to evolve their opinion. Where solutions journalism is healthy, America has more informed and engaged communities. And when solutions are plentiful, so will our lives be in the city.

In an age when original, on-the-ground reporting is increasingly rare, we send our writers into urban communities to produce our award-winning fact-finding and storytelling. Next City is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit that adheres to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. We are dedicated to producing journalism that is accurate, transparent, fair and impactful.

Next City uses our support to accomplish an ambitious set of programming. That includes publishing hundreds of stories on solutions to urban issues every year. We compile our best reporting into ebooks, host webinars with practitioners who share lessons from their work, and convene live events such as our annual Vanguard Conference for rising urban leaders.

The core of what we do at Next City is produce solutions journalism. Every story is produced with an equity lens on the world. We search for solutions that are having a real effect, and which can be replicated from city to city. These stories not only impart information, but also they build empathy and inspire change.

We consider Next City events to be the incarnation of journalism. Events are intended to share knowledge about what’s working, to inspire, and to connect leaders with each other across sectors. Next City is one of the few places where people can meet across occupations about what it will take to truly get something done to solve homelessness or poverty, for example. Next City's webinars invite guests presenters to share lessons learned about a workable solution that they’ve accomplished. We produce dozens of informative webinars each year. The annual Vanguard Conference is entering its eleventh year. Hundreds of applicants apply each year for 40 open slots within the cohort. The Vanguards are rising urban leaders from across the silos that separate efforts for change—beyond transportation planners, architects, bankers, investors, philanthropists, artists, media, government leaders, and more. The intersectional group experiences a city up close, traveling from one neighborhood to the next to learn from the leaders of solutions happening now. They immerse themselves in a city, learning from its leaders and from each other. The result is a network of like-minded changemakers, and that network is now more than 500 alumni strong.

Originally named The Next American City, the organization began publishing a quarterly magazine in 2003. What started as a black-and-white printed publication staffed by volunteers ultimately grew into a popular and influential magazine that reached 1 million people over the course of its 31 issues. Today, Next City is a trusted voice on urban policy, reaching more than 2 million influential doers and changemakers via Next City's website annually. Another 150,000 follow coverage on social media, and 50,000 subscribe to newsletters. All are in search of ways that cities can be reimagined as truly equitable and inclusive.

If you want journalism to spark change, your audience matters. And 74% of readers say they use Next City's reporting in their jobs. What jobs are those? More than 80% say they or their organization work toward greater racial equity.

Although Next City is now staffed by professional journalists, it was founded in 2003 by three college students who recognized cities were derided as sources of trouble instead of innovation. They started a magazine in 2003 by emailing their contacts and signing up volunteers. More than 200 people contributed to the first magazines.

As Next City celebrated its 15-year anniversary in 2018, the founders remarked on how true it kept to the mission. The magazine was intended to talk about cities “as a place where good things happened, and not just as a place where problems happened.” It was launched to delve into issues facing cities and create “a community of people to talk about those things.” Next City sought to “support the growth of a new generation of doers and thinkers on urban topics.”

We continue to seek program as well as operational funding and desire multi-year funding agreements.

Financials

Next City, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Next City, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Eric Shaw

San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development

Term: 2018 - 2021

Tamar Shapiro

New Urban Mobility Alliance

Eric Shaw

San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development

Jess Zimbabwe

Environmental Works

Casius Pealer

Tulane University

Efrem Bycer

LinkedIn

Kate Didech

Symbium: The Computational Law Company

Adam Giuliano

Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell

Jason Schupbach

Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University

Andre Perry

Brookings Institution

Lynn Ross

Spirit for Change Consulting

David Porter

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Diana Lind

Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia

Jamie Alderslade

Citi

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/24/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.