Sector Health

The U.S. nonprofit sector is the underpinning of our society. Nonprofits provide a significant portion of the nation’s health care, higher education, human services, arts and culture, conservation, and other vital services. Nonprofits also have been the primary catalyst for major social change over the past 150 years. At a time when the sector is both more critical and more vulnerable than in recent memory, it is essential that communities and their leaders understand the current health of the nonprofit sector.

Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector

The annual Independent Sector Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector is a new and developing resource that conveys important information on the current health of the U.S. nonprofit sector across multiple dimensions and in a single, accessible format.

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Our sector and the communities we serve are changing rapidly through events and advances both small and large.  In these extraordinary times of constant change, we need to be able to exercise effective leadership at all levels, in every organization, and throughout our communities.


The long-term health of our sector – and every organization within it – relies on a strong continuum of leadership. Our NGen program is the sector’s premier program for leaders age 40 and under who want to enhance their skills, grow their networks, and prepare themselves to lead the sector into the future.

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John W. Gardner Leadership Award

Each year we recognize an American visionary whose work has empowered constituencies, strengthened participation, inspired movements, and improved communities.

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Ethics & Accountability

The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice reinforce a common understanding of transparency, accountability, and good governance for the charitable sector as a whole—not only to ensure ethical and trustworthy behavior, but equally important, to spotlight strong practices that contribute to the effectiveness, durability, and broad popular support for charitable organizations of all kinds.

Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Working from a broad definition of diversity to include gender, race/ethnicity, age, economic status, sexual orientation/gender identity, religion, and physical ability, this resource hub considers issues pressing to the sector such as boards and leadership, talent recruitment and retention, equity, inclusion, and the business case for DEI. It also considers how these areas impact organizations’ ability to serve diverse communities more effectively.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The American population will look radically different in the coming decades, and with it, our workforce and the communities we serve. As a sector, we must address past inequities and embrace future opportunities if we are to live up to our missions to provide for the common good.

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