Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector

Overview

Independent Sector is releasing our second annual Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector report, an evolving resource of data, analysis, and recommendations about key areas powering more than 1.8 million U.S. nonprofits: Financial Resources, Human Capital, Governance and Trust, and Public Policy and Advocacy.

This report provides original Independent Sector analysis of federal data highlighting our sector’s economic impact and demographic composition. Recommendations cover research, practice, and policy. The 2021 report makes a broad set of measures easily accessible and presents them side-by-side, so stakeholders and key decisionmakers can quickly see the most accurate snapshot of the state of civil society. As the nonprofit sector continues to be an underpinning of civil society, our goal is to spur deeper discussions, greater action, and more collaboration so that everyone in the U.S. can thrive.

Want to learn more?

Join us at the upcoming Upswell Summit on Thursday, October 21 at 2-3:00 PM ET, where Elisha Rhodes (Interim CEO of the YWCA USA), Ekundayo Bandele (Founder and CEO of Hattiloo Theatre), Stacy Palmer (Editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy), and Dan Cardinali (President and CEO of Independent Sector) will have a candid conversation about the Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector report and where we, collectively, can do better to support civil society.

Report Snapshot

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VALUE OF SECTOR

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Nonprofits make up 5.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up 0.4 percentage points from the previous year.

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HUMAN CAPITAL

Pre-COVID-19 employment levels for the nonprofit sector will return around July 2022 – a period of more than 11 months to do so.

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FINANCIAL RESOURCES

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47% of nonprofits said they served fewer people in 2020.

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FINANCIAL RESOURCES

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40% of nonprofits surveyed reported a revenue loss in 2020.

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PUBLIC POLICY & ADVOCACY

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4 million nonprofit jobs saved through advocacy in 2020. Nonprofit advocacy supported the Paycheck Protection Program, payroll tax credits, and a temporary universal charitable deduction.

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GOVERNANCE & TRUST

57%

57% of U.S. public trust nonprofits to do what is right in 2021, down 2 percentage points from 2020.

Download the Full 2021 Report

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think about the report? And what would be helpful to know next?