The charitable sector provides millions of people with powerful, independent, and voluntary methods for addressing the issues and expressing the values most important to them.
What is a Nonprofit?
Simply put, a nonprofit is a tax-exempt organization that benefits the broad public interest.
However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines more than 25 categories of organizations that are exempt from federal income taxes. The most common nonprofit is classified as a 501(c)(3), which includes public charities or private foundations. The majority of Independent Sector members are 501(c)(3) organizations.
These organizations include large national organizations such as the American Red Cross, as well as your local soup kitchen, community hospital, and places of worship.
Get more details on the different types of tax-exempt organizations on the IRS website.
Facts and Figures about the Nonprofit Sector
The charitable sector plays a crucial role in lives across the country and around the world.
- There are 1.4 million tax-exempt organizations in the United States – this includes all 501(c) designations from churches and cultural centers to food banks and disaster relief organizations.
- The nonprofit sector – 10 percent of the American workforce or 11.4 million jobs – is the third largest workforce in the U.S., behind retail and manufacturing.
- Americans are generous. Total charitable giving in the U.S. in 2015 was about $370 billion, a 4 percent increase from 2014.
- Approximately 62.8 million Americans — 25 percent of the adult population — volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
- The 2015 national value of volunteer time is $23.56 per hour. In other words, Americans contribute $184 billion of their time to our communities.
The Sector in Your State
Across the United States, the charitable sector generates incredible impact on both communities and economies. These profiles are snapshot of major statistics about each state’s charitable community. They are designed to give you a broad sense of the scale and diversity of nonprofits, foundations, and charities. Hover over a state for quick stats or click on a state for its full profile.
More Statistics on the Sector
Learn more about the sector through these valued partner organizations: