A couple of weeks ago, I came across this superb infographic regarding the economic impact of the nonprofit sector. This was striking to me because I personally had tried to assemble similar data on numerous occasions over the last 30 years.
People have always inquired about how any businesses could survive, let alone thrive, serving this sector alone, since so little is really known by most people outside of this sector. The extent of the data presented below and the economic impact the data represents were even a mild shock to me.
Infographic via USF Online Master of Public Administration
My Top 3 Surprises
1. Public Sector Charities had the following:
- $1.51 TRILLION in Revenue
- $1.45 TRILLION in Expenses
- $2.71 TRILLION in Assets
That is economic impact is greater than most countries and truly illustrates how well managed the sector as a whole is, in my opinion.
2. One out of ten workers in the United States is employed by a nonprofit organization
The nonprofit sector is the 3rd largest employer after retail and manufacturing with nearly 11 million paid employees. Perhaps more importantly, it is one of the few large areas of the U.S. economy adding jobs at a rate of nearly 2% per year!
I have always felt the nonprofit world smoothed out the larger boom and bust shifts in our economy.
3. 26.8% of all Americans volunteered in 2011
Together those dedicated individuals provided nearly 8 billion hours of service! Could you imagine what could be achieved in 50% of Americans volunteered? Even if just the retired population, who is often searching for meaningful endeavors, led the way with greater than 50% helping in some manner, the impact would be huge. Nearly every American has talent to give back, let’s hope this percentage keep climbing.
Economic Impact can be Measured in Different Ways
Obviously, our beloved nonprofit sector is a force to be reckoned with in so many areas. However, economic impact pales in comparison to the huge impact the combined mission outcomes have had and will have on our world. I only wish we could create an infographic that could even remotely reflect the huge outcomes that happen every day, month and year! Perhaps this will be possible as more and more charities implement proper measurement.
A Special Treat for the Holiday Season
My good friend and Bloomerang partner Pamela Grow, who provides so much help and encouragement for the small fundraising organization, contacted me this last week about her second-annual 12 Days of Christmas Nonprofit Gifts Giveaway.
This is truly a gift for our beloved nonprofit sector and includes outstanding tools and education items from twelve of the top consultants and experts serving the charity world. It is worth checking out and could provide some marvelous brain stimulation around those holiday meals!