Independent Sector Mourns the Loss of Dr. Lester M. Salamon

(WASHINGTON, August 24, 2021) – Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector, issues the following statement:

“On behalf of our board and all of us at Independent Sector, I want to express our deep sadness about the passing of Dr. Lester M. Salamon.

Dr. Salamon’s invaluable and pioneering research – particularly his critically important, empirical data on nonprofit employment – will live on for decades. His books, research, and commitment to our sector contributed to placing it on equal footing with government and business in the United States and around the world.

His work enables all of us in the nonprofit community to use data to vividly portray our sector’s contributions to the economy, as well as our priceless social impact. His data opened the door to ensuring that the nonprofit community was addressed and included in landmark legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act and CARES Act.

At Independent Sector, we collaborated with Dr. Salamon to generate high-quality data about nonprofits, and were blessed with the opportunity to partner with him as a thought leader for more than 30 years and through this summer. People describe him as a monument to everyone who studies nonprofits. He will be missed. We send our condolences to his family at this moment.

Today, we – the nonprofit sector – still use his research to make the case as to why government investment in nonprofits is critical for democracy, local economies, community outcomes, and building a healthier nation for all of us.


Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations working to strengthen civil society and ensure all people in the United States thrive.

Media Contact:

Bradley Wong

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: Civil Society, Data, Public Policy
Policy Issues: Civil Society Infrastructure