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Sector Impact

America's nonprofit community is an unparalleled force for advancing the common good. It provides millions of people with powerful, independent, and voluntary methods for addressing the issues and expressing the values most important to them.

Our country's 1.6 million nonprofits, foundations, and religious congregations work around the world -- on their own, in coordination with other charitable organizations, and in partnership with government and business -- in every aspect of human endeavor. Even with this enormous diversity, all the organizations and people in our sector share one central commitment: improving lives.

For an overview of the sector and its contributions to society, see Roles of the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Community.

Charting Impact

Value Of Volunteer time

At the heart of Charting Impact are five deceptively simple questions that require reflection, encourage learning, and promote communication about what really matters – results.

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The Value of Volunteer Time estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. Charitable organizations can use this estimate to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide.

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Scope of the Sector

The economic role of nonprofits

The American nonprofit and philanthropic community plays a crucial role in lives across the country and around the world. There are more than 1.9 million tax-exempt organizations in the United States, a number that has approximately doubled in the last 30 years.


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Nonprofits and foundations are more than just providers of vital services. They are also a major presence in our economy, employing 10 percent of the American workforce and providing 5.5 percent of our GDP.

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