State Profile – Iowa

About This Profile

Across the United States, the charitable sector generates incredible impact on both communities and economies. This profile is a snapshot of major statistics about Iowa’s charitable community. It’s designed to give you a broad sense of the scale and diversity of nonprofits, foundations, and charities across the state. A downloadable PDF version is available above.


Number of Iowa Nonprofit Organizations

  • All nonprofit organizations: 26,361
  • 501(c)(3) Public Charities (includes some religious organizations): 11,551
  • 501(c)(3) Private and Public Foundations: 983
  • Other 501(c) Nonprofit Organizations*: 13,827

* includes civic leagues, chamber of commerce, veterans organizations, etc


Economic Impact of the Iowa Nonprofit Sector

  • Employs 135,300 – over 11% of the state’s workforce
  • Generates more than $20.3 billion in annual revenues
  • Holds assets of $44.2 billion
  • Iowa foundations annually give almost $225 billion
  • Iowans give $7.2 billion to charity each year, representing 3.03 percent of household income

Public Charities and Foundations Benefit Iowa Communities

Deliver vital community services
This past year, ChildServe helped nearly 3,000 children and their families with special health care needs in central Iowa. Named to the Top 150 Workplaces in Iowa, ChildServe recently opened a new 60,000 square foot building addition in Johnston to serve more children and has received national awards for their partnership with The Weitz Company.

Give voice to the people they serve
Located in Bettendorf, the American Alliance of Museum-accredited Family Museum offers a variety of interactive programs for children and families, including drop-in classes, camps and pre-school care, dance, family nights, and scouting opportunities. The museum empowers youth visitors to manipulate and explore water navigation at the Lil ‘Ssippi River Valley exhibit, designed to imitate an actual stretch of water in the Quad Cities.

Contribute to vibrant communities
With the help of more than 3,000 volunteers, the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa provide positive role-models. In a technology-filled world, getting girls outdoors is more important than ever. Over 2,000 girls went to camp last year, and 50% of the girls wouldn’t have been able to do an outdoor activity if not for Girl Scouts.

Advance solutions for challenges facing society
The Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center at the University of Iowa is focused on helping Iowa nonprofits. They offer training across the state on how nonprofits can use data to improve their operations. And, they just released a revised edition of Iowa Principles and Practices for Charitable Nonprofit Excellence



Note: The “nonprofit sector” encompasses organizations that are defined as tax-exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. This includes both public charities and private foundations [501(c)(3)] and other nonprofits such as civic league organizations [501(c)(4)]. Exceptions are noted when relevant.

Employment Information
Best estimate based on available data from the following sources:

Number of nonprofit employees: Holding the Fort: Nonprofit Employment During a Decade of Turmoil, Lester Salamon and S.Wojciech Sokolowski, Stephanie L. Geller, Nonprofit Employment Bulletin #39, Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 2012 {Data is 2010, page 3}

Number of Nonprofits
Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, State Summary reports  {Data are 2013}

Asset and Revenues
Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, “Registered Nonprofit Organizations by State (BMF 12/2015)
{Data are 2015}

Foundation Giving
The Foundation Center, FC Stats: “Foundation Stats: Total Grantmaking Foundations” {Data are 2013}

Individual Giving
How America Gives, 2014. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. {Data are 2012}

Nonprofit Examples:

Updated: July 2016


Resource Types: Fact Sheet