Leading On Opportunity

Leading on Opportunity has developed the Opportunity Compass, a tool for tracking Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s collective progress on economic mobility. The publicly available Opportunity Compass measures community indicators in the areas of: College and Career Readiness, Child and Family Stability, Early Care and Education as well as Segregation.

The Opportunity Compass uses primarily publicly available data, such as the American Community Survey, from 2015-2019 to establish a baseline, and it helps local leaders determine the most effective interventions to improve lives in the Charlotte area.

While Charlotte’s focus on improving economic mobility has been heralded nationwide, measuring the combined impact has been elusive until now. The new tool will assist in guiding the strategy and measuring the progress of a variety of local efforts. It allows organizations to track and measure research-backed interventions to advance the overall goal of improving local economic mobility.

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Fast Facts

Relevant Actions
State or Local? Local
Lead Agency Leading on Opportunity
Type of Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • The Opportunity Compass incorporates six indicators about the impact of segregation.
  • The Opportunity Compass disaggregates data by race to guide strategy and assess the differential impact of policies on outcomes.
Community Voice
  • The Opportunity Compass incorporates feedback from community sessions with hundreds of Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents.
  • The Compass is a tool for organizing ecosystems such as education, housing and childcare providers.
  • The Compass adds clarity and alignment to efforts to improve economic mobility across Mecklenburg County.
  • The Compass is a way to systematically and consistently track our progress on community goals.
Next Steps
  • Increase use of the Compass among funders, nonprofits and government entities
  • Support/advise other communities in developing similar, community-level measurement systems
Primary Partners
  • Charlotte Executive Leadership Council
  • Deloitte
  • Ally
  • Mecklenburg County and City of Charlotte
  • Charlotte Area College Presidents
Primary Funders
  • Foundation For The Carolinas 
  • Bank of America 
  • Deloitte
Contact Virginia Covill

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