Mapping on the Community Platform

General Information, How Tos, & FAQs

What is a community indicator?

A community indicator is a measure of community characteristics and, often, well-being, including measures on population, poverty, high school or college graduation rates, mortality rates, and hundreds more.  Depending on the source of the data, the indicator may be available for different geographic levels: state, county, city, zip code, legislative district, census tract or census block. The data covers a specific time span, often a single year, but for small geographic levels, several years worth of data may be averaged as they are the 5-year estimates by census tract available from the American Communities Survey. 

Where does the community indicator data come from?

All platforms are loaded with the American Community Survey (ACS) data, which "is an ongoing survey that provides data every year -- giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services" (Source: What is the American Community Survey?). The ACS data are collected by census tract, which is how they are displayed on this site. To learn more about the American Community Survey, click here

Some community platforms may have additinal community indicator data sources available, this data was gathered or purchased by the individual platform partner for their geographic area.

What are 'Issue areas', 'Activity codes', or 'NTEE codes'?

Issue areas and Activity codes are other ways of referring to NTEE codes. The National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) system is used by the IRS, NCCS, the Foundation Center, GuideStar and many others to classify nonprofit organizations. To learn more about the history and use of NTEE codes, click here. To see a full list of NTEE codes and descriptions, click here.  We have also expanded the list of categories on some sites so that for-profit businesses and government agencies can be accurately and precisely categorized.

How are NTEE codes assigned?

The process for assigning NTEE codes is a complex system, which takes into account the IRS form 990 information as well as looking at keywords in the organization's name and description. 

What if an organization has been miscategorized? How do I suggest a change to an organization's code?

The system for assigning NTEE codes does sometimes make mistakes. User review (including both Community Administrators and regular users) is helpful in catching miscategorized organizations and reporting them. Any registered user on the platform can suggest a new code for an organization. To do this, log in, find the organization's profile (usually by searching), and click 'Edit Organization'. Edit the NTEE code field and hit 'Submit for Review'. These changes must be reviewed and approved by a Communtiy Administrator before they are live on the platform.

Can I export lists from the site?

The ability to export the organization or indicator data is available, however whether the feature is enabled or not is the decision of that platform partner. If it is enabled, to export a list go to the main mapping page. Create your map - be selected a geographic area and either an issue area or indicator, then select 'List' view and then click 'Show List'. You may have to cick on a list title to view the list, then click the 'Export...' button.