State Profile – Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania’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 Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations

  • All nonprofit organizations: 63,345
  • 501(c)(3) Public Charities (includes some religious organizations): 37,600
  • 501(c)(3) Private and Public Foundations: 6,208
  • Other 501(c) Nonprofit Organizations*: 19,537

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


Economic Impact of the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Sector

  • Employs 790,368- over 15% of the state’s workforce
  • Generates almost $132 billion in annual revenues
  • Holds assets of $306.3 billion
  • Pennsylvania foundations annually give over $2.4 billion
  • Pennsylvanians give almost $6.5 billion to charity each year, representing 2.68% of household income

Public Charities and Foundations Benefit Pennsylvania Communities

Deliver vital community services
At United Way of York’s Global Youth Service Day 2019, 165 volunteers removed 1.24 TONS (2,480 lbs) of trash, resulting in $16,460 in value provided by volunteers for the city of York. With over 160 nonprofit agencies listed, The Volunteer Center of United Way of York County helps connect citizens with local volunteer opportunities.

Give voice to the people they serve
For the last 70 years, the legacy of the Haas family through the William Penn Foundation has helped the Philadelphia region, including transforming Independence Mall from a neglected area of the city to an international tourist destination. Recently, the Foundation helped create a public-private philanthropic initiative, “Reimagining the Civic Commons,” to help create or rebuild five public spaces where people of all walks of life can gather.

Contribute to vibrant communities
The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh believes that quality early learning leads to success in school and a lifetime of opportunity. At the Homewood-Brushton center they provide quality, comprehensive, interactive early development and education for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. This programming includes healthy and nutritious meals and encourage children to think, be creative, and succeed.

Advance solutions for challenges facing society
The Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh’s second largest foundation, provides more than $70 million in grants each year. Early in 2016, The Heinz Endowments introduced the concept of a “Just Pittsburgh” to the public as a term to describe some of the major challenges and aspirations for the Pittsburgh region. As part of the initiative, over 280 people participated in The Heinz Endowments’ first equity communications training for grantee organizations over two sessions in February and April 2019.



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: The 2019 nonprofit employment report, Lester M. Salamon and Chelsea L. Newhouse, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Nonprofit Employment Bulletin #47, Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 2019 {Data is 2016, 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 2015}

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

Nonprofit Examples:

Updated July 2019


Resource Types: Fact Sheet