Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector Quarterly Review

Our report provides data, analysis, and recommendations about key areas powering 1.8 million nonprofits, including finances, human capital, governance, trust, public policy, and advocacy.


Independent Sector regularly releases Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector reports – an evolving and growing resource of data, analysis, and recommendations about key areas powering more than 1.8 million U.S. nonprofits. Since 2020, when Independent Sector launched these reports, the focal points have been: Financial Resources, Human Capital, Governance and Trust, and Public Policy Advocacy. The reports make a broad set of measures easily accessible and present them side-by-side, so stakeholders and key decisionmakers can quickly see the most accurate snapshot of the state of civil society.

This most recent Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Quarterly Review, for the period ending December 31, 2022 and released on January 10, 2023, provides Independent Sector analysis of federal data highlighting the nonprofit sector’s economic contributions, human capital, and advocacy activity. Among its key highlights: Economic contributions from the nation’s nonprofits are outpacing the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, the number of donors continues to drop, and nonprofits are growing in staff jobs that pay $40,000 per year. Recommendations cover research, practice, and policy. This report complements data and recommendations in the 2021 Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector annual report. As the nonprofit sector continues to be the underpinning of civil society and healthy, equitable communities, our goal is to spur deeper discussions, greater action, and more collaboration so that everyone in the U.S. can thrive.

Key Insights

Value of Sector

Nonprofits' gross value added makes up 5.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), within the average range for the sector in recent years.

Human Capital

The number of unique volunteers in the U.S. declined 19% from 2019-2021.

Financial Resources

U.S. nonprofits contributed $1.5 trillion to the economy in the third quarter of 2022.

Financial Resources

The number of donors decreased 7% in the second quarter of 2022, compared to the year-ago period.

Public Policy & Advocacy

35% of people report advocating in 2021, but only 39% of those advocates did so through a nonprofit.

Governance & Trust

56% of the U.S. public trusted nonprofits to do what is right in 2022, down 3 percentage points from 2020.

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