National Trends

On average, nonprofit employees earn slightly more than those working at for-profit companies. This may come as a surprise to many, but it supports the idea that nonprofits must compete for highly capable, talented, ethical, productive, and creative employees just like for-profit companies and offering a comparable salary is one way to do just that.

Attracting employees to the nonprofit sector is important because the sector is growing fast.

According to the Urban Institute's report, The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014, from 2002 to 2012, the number of nonprofit organizations registered with the IRS rose from 1.32 million to 1.44 million, an increase of 8.6 percent. In 2013, total private giving from individuals, foundations, and businesses totaled $335.17 billion, an increase of just over 4 percent from 2012 after adjusting for inflation. According to Giving USA, total charitable giving rose for the fourth consecutive year in 2013. 

The following information from the report provides some background of the nonprofit sector in the United States:

  • There are approximately 1.44 million nonprofits in the United States.
  • These 1.44 million organizations contain a diverse range of nonprofits, including art, health, education, and advocacy nonprofits; labor unions; and business and professional associations.
  • The nonprofit sector contributed an estimated $887.3 billion to the US economy in 2012.
  • The time volunteers spent in 2013 was worth an estimated $163.0 billion.

Access the Urban Institute report on the nonprofit sector for more information.


The Center for NGO Leadership & Development
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