The City of Decatur in Georgia serves as the Gradschoolmatch.com world headquarters, and we think of it as a great place to start up and run a business that focuses on helping graduate school programs and prospective graduate students find their best fit. Decatur is a small town that lays quietly right smack in the heart of the booming Atlanta metro area, one mostly known around here for its schools, neighborhoods and restaurants.
If Decatur reminds you of Pleasantville, you would not be mistaken, since it has all the charm of a gracious southern community, but with a worldly cosmopolitan flare. One can hardly walk a block–and Decatur prides itself on being a walkable community–without running into someone involved in higher education. Whether or not they are currently employed in it, or earned a fair number of degrees from it. Decatur is the home of Agnes Scott College, a highly regarded woman’s college. And nearby employers include Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control. Hop on the Marta commuter rail line and within a few minutes you’ll arrive at Georgia State University, the Atlanta University Center including the renowned historically black colleges of Spelman and Morehouse, or connect to a northbound line to the Georgia Institute of Technology. But a little something in Decatur Metro, or local daily blog, caught our eye this morning. A small, nondescript office building in Decatur, just a block or so away from us, is also the headquarters for the non-profit Task Force for Global Health, which is now the 4th largest philanthropy in the United States, behind heavy weights such as the United Way and Salvation Army.
Surprisingly, the highest ranking nonprofit in the state is the Task Force for Global Health, which came in at No. 4 — the first time the nonprofit had made the list. “To go from not being on the list to being No.4 is still stunning to us,” said Mark Rosenberg, president and CEO of the Task Force for Global Health, which is based in Decatur. “It’s not something we ever thought would happen.” The Task Force, founded in 1983, works collaboratively with other nonprofits and pharmaceutical companies to provide medicine and vaccines to treat, and possibly eliminate, diseases throughout the world, primarily in developing countries.
As those of us who have lived in Decatur have understood for years, it is a small town where more goes on than first meets the eye.