Good Advice: “Know Your Sector”

On September 13, 2010, in Articles, Multimedia, Reports, by Josh Perlsweig

Many names describe our sector. While “nonprofit” or “not-for-profit” may be among the most common, “social”, “citizen”, “independent” and “third” shed more light on its relevance to our daily life and its role along side public and private interests.

Unfortunately, some impressive statistics about our sector are often marginalized. This is perhaps in part due to putting “non” and “not for” in front of the word “profit” – a concept that people often like.

As a new group,‘s first project was to create a youtube video “designed to illustrate some basic – yet sometimes surprising – facts about the nonprofit sector”.

The video, recently featured on a Chronicle of Philanthropy blog compiles statistics from Independent Sector, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Giving USA.  (see their bibliography here).

Some highlights:

  • Approximately 1 in 10 Americans work for a nonprofit.
  • The $1.1 TRILLION generated by charities annually is more than the entire economies of Saudi Arabia and Sweden combined.

Another great source is the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) – “the national repository of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States”. You can download their report – “The Nonprofit Sector In Brief: Public Charities, Giving, and Volunteering, 2009″ or view “Quick Facts About Nonprofits“.

For information on volunteerism, look to “Volunteering in America 2010 Issue Brief” from the Corporation for National and Community Service

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