In my novel Nearly Canaan, Jaya resumes her career in nonprofit enterprises – a field she left in moving to the Yoga Bootcamp from Manhattan.
Running nonprofits turns out to be a management specialty – and they are a major player in the economy, even if you don’t read a lot about them in the business section of the newspaper.
Here are some considerations.
- The nonprofit sector accounts for $65 billion of the U.S. economy – 5.4 percent of the gross national product.
- Nonprofits hire a tenth of the workforce – more than national defense, construction, real estate, and space exploration combined.
- There are more than 1.2 million public charities and foundations in the country.
- Only one-third of the organizations file with the IRS, leaving the rest off of the economic radar.
- The 950,000 public charity organizations – ranging across arts, culture, education, health care, and human services – comprise two-thirds of the nonprofits sector.
- Most of them are small. Nearly 30 percent of the public service organizations operate at under $100,000 a year. The largest group, 37 percent, runs between $100,000 and $499,999. The largest group, of $10 million or more, is just 5.3 percent of the organizations but doles out 87 percent of the money.
- Nearly half of their revenue comes from fees for services and goods – ticket sales, tuition, hospital fees, membership fees, and product sales. Another third comes from government programs and grants. The remainder comes from donations (15 percent) and investment income (5 percent).
- Religion is the largest charity category, with a third of the pot, followed by education, 13 percent. Other standouts: Health, at 7.4 percent; arts, culture, and humanities at 4.1 percent; environment or animals, 2 percent.
- One in four Americans volunteers time and service to these causes. Their volunteer service, averaging 52 hours a year per person, is valued at $1.5 trillion. They also donate $358 billion in fundraising.
- The total assets of public charities in the U.S. comes to $3.7 trillion.
Do you donate to any nonprofit groups? Do you volunteer? Do you rely on their services?