State Profile – Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts’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 Massachusetts Nonprofit Organizations

  • All nonprofit organizations: 33,722
  • 501(c)(3) Public Charities (includes some religious organizations): 22,718
  • 501(c)(3) Private and Public Foundations: 3,515
  • Other 501(c) Nonprofit Organizations*: 7,489

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


Economic Impact of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector

  • Employs 455,900 – almost 17% of the state’s workforce
  • Generates almost $118.8 billion in annual revenues
  • Holds assets of $334.6 billion
  • Massachusetts foundations annually give almost $1.5 billion
  • Massachusetts residents give almost $4.9 billion to charity each year, representing 2.43 percent of household income

Public Charities and Foundations Benefit Massachusetts Communities

Deliver vital community services
Based in Somerville, MA, YouthBuild USA is the advocacy arm for the national YouthBuild network and strives to advocate for young people who are both out of school and out of work. In the U.S., over 140,000 YouthBuild students have performed 48 million community service hours and produced over 30,000 affordable housing units.

Give voice to the people they serve
Headquartered in Boston, City Year corps members volunteer to close the education achievement gap through tutoring and mentoring at-risk students. Large-scale evaluations find schools that partner with City Year are up to 2-3 times more likely to improve on English Language Arts and math assessments. And City Year helped to drive 36% reduction in students that are chronically absent.

Contribute to vibrant communities
The Boston Foundation supports a variety of initiatives to create “thriving people and vibrant spaces” throughout Greater Boston, including health and wellness, jobs and housing, education, community safety, and civic, cultural, and artistic vitality. The Boston Foundation and its donors supported victims of the Boston Marathon bombings with close to $1 million in contributions.

Advance solutions for challenges facing society
The Bridgespan Group has provided consulting advice to more than 600 nonprofits and focuses on improving nonprofit management on topics such as hiring, strategy, and funding. Their interactive website also includes free resources, including case studies, with the goal of increasing the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofits.



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: August 2016


Resource Types: Fact Sheet