Economic Impact

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Nonprofits are significant contributors to the American economy. 

If the global nonprofit sector were a country, it would have the sixteenth largest economy in the world, according to GDP data compiled by the World Bank. In the United States, the nonprofit sector contributed $878 billion to the economy in 2012, or about 5.4 percent of our nation’s GDP.

Click the image above for more information on the economic impact of the arts

Let's look at just the economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations. According to a study by Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture industry alone generates $166.3 billion in economic activity every year - $63.8 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. Arts groups don't just encourage economic activity in local communities, they provide employment opportunities, with more than 2.3 million full-time equivalent jobs. Now, consider the fact that arts organizations only account for 1.9 percent of annual nonprofit expenditures and you can get a sense as to the tremendous impact nonprofits have on our economy.

In addition to the economic activity encouraged by nonprofits and the countless dollars that nonprofits save governments through their efficient service delivery, nonprofits are also one of the greatest sources of employment across the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nonprofit sector employs 11.4 million people - that's 10.2 percent of the American workforce! Check out the map below to find out what percent of the workforce in your state is employed by a nonprofit.

Nonprofit Employment as a Percentage of Private Employment

Find out more about the impact that nonprofits are making in your community by reading the latest local research or connecting with your state association of nonprofits.

Find Your State Association of Nonprofits

Find Your State Association of Nonprofits

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