State Profile – Washington


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 Washington’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 Washington Nonprofit Organizations

  • All nonprofit organizations: 32,611
  • 501(c)(3) Public Charities (includes some religious organizations): 22,976
  • 501(c)(3) Private and Public Foundations: 1,131
  • Other 501(c) Nonprofit Organizations*: 8,504

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


Economic Impact of the Washington Nonprofit Sector

  • Employs 259,427 – over 9.7% of the state’s workforce
  • Generates more than $64.6 billion in annual revenues
  • Holds assets of $208.8 billion
  • Washington foundations annually give over $4.5 billion
  • Washingtonians give $4.4 billion to charity each year, representing 3.08 percent of household income

Public Charities and Foundations Benefit Washington Communities

Deliver vital community services

Empire Health Foundation boldly advances health equity in eastern Washington and beyond. $320 million have been leverage by the Foundation and its partners from 2011-2018. Since its inception, the Foundation has worked on key health issues including preventing childhood obesity. As of now, they’ve reached 61% of school-age children in eastern Washington, and are reversing Washington’s childhood obesity trend by demonstrating a 12% reduction in overweight/obese students.

Give voice to the people they serve

Marguerite Casey Foundation’s work focuses on creating a national movement of families advocating for poverty alleviation. In partnership with 250 grantee organizations in 12 states, the Foundation held a series of 65 town hall meetings to aggregate the voices of some 50,000 families into a national platform of values and concrete policy suggestions, culminating in the National Family Platform.

Contribute to vibrant communities

Seattle Goodwill, a mission-driven organization, works to address poverty and strengthen communities by preparing people for employment in the current and future marketplace. In 2018, Seattle Goodwill served 13,375 students and helped place 1,720 individuals in jobs.

Advance solutions for challenges facing society

Based in Seattle, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation adds $1.5 billion to the local economy every year. Their Washington State strategy supports all students where they live, learn and play—at home, at school, and in their neighborhoods. They helped build nearly 1,500 units of transitional housing, and continue to support new and cost-effective ways to address and prevent homelessness.



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}



Breakdown by Nonprofit Service Area

Nonprofits in Washington: Recent Statistics and Policy Developments, Putnam Barber. Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, 2014. {Data are 2013}


Number of Nonprofits

Nonprofits in Washington: Recent Statistics and Policy Developments, Putnam Barber. Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, 2014.



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:

Empire Health Foundation: and

Marguerite Casey Foundation:

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:

Seattle Goodwill:


As of October 2019


Resource Types: Fact Sheet