Quick Facts About Nonprofits

For the latest figures and quick facts please also refer to The Nonprofit Sector in Brief2012201320142015

Nonprofit Organizations

  • 1,571,056 tax-exempt organizations, including:
    • 1,097,689 public charities
    • 105,030 private foundations
    • 368,337 other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.

(Source: NCCS Business Master File 4/2016)

  • In 2010, nonprofits accounted for 9.2% of all wages and salaries paid in the United States.
    (Source: The Nonprofit Almanac, 2012)
  • Nonprofit Share of GDP was 5.3% in 2014. (Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • There are an estimated 312,373 congregations in the United States in May 2016.
    (Source: American Church Lists)

Nonprofit Organizations Overview

Nonprofit organizations include everything from neighborhood associations that meet a couple of times a year and have no assets, to large universities and foundations with billions of dollars in assets.  They include soup kitchens and traditional charities that serve the poor as well as a local church, the Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club, the United Steel Workers Labor Union, and the Metropolitan Opera.  Nonprofit organizations can be divided by the subsection of the United States Internal Revenue Code 501(c). 

Click here to view the US Nonprofit Organizations categories and statistics.

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Public Charity Finances

  • In 2013, public charities reported over $1.74 trillion in total revenues and $1.63 trillion in total expenses.  Of the revenue:
    • 21% came from contributions, gifts and government grants.
    • 72% came from program service revenues, which include government fees and contracts.
    • 7% came from "other" sources including dues, rental income, special event income, and gains or losses from goods sold.

(Source: NCCS Core Files 2013)

  • Public charities reported over $3 trillion in total assets in 2013.
    (Source: NCCS Core Files 2013)

Volunteering and Charitable Giving

Charitable Giving in America: Some Facts and Figures

  • Approximately 25.3% of Americans over the age of 16 volunteered through or for an organization between September 2010 and September 2014.  This proportion has remained relatively constant since 2003 after a slight increase from 27.4% to 28.8% in 2003.
    (Source: Current Population Survey, September 2014)
  • Charitable contributions by individuals, foundations, bequests, and corporations reached $358.38 billion in 2014, an increase of 7.1% from the revised 2013 estimates and after adjusting for inflation. Of these charitable contributions:
    • Religious organizations received the largest share, with 32% of total estimated contributions.
    • Educational institutions received the second largest percentage, with 15% of total estimated contributions.
    • Human service organizations accounted for 12% of total estimated contributions in 2014, the third largest share.

(Source: Giving USA 2015)

  • Individuals gave $258.51 billion in 2014, an increase of 5.7 percent from 2013.
    (Source: Giving USA 2015)

Foundation Giving

  • Foundations gave $50.9 billion in 2012, up just less than one percent from 2011.
    (Source: The Foundation Center, 2013)
  • Of total giving in 2012:
    • 72% came from individual (living donors)
    • 4% came from corporations (excludes corporate foundations)
    • 8% came from individuals (bequest)
    • 16% came from foundations.

(Source: The Foundation Center, 2013)