Monday, March 29, 2010

New Study on SEPA Non-Profit Sector

Last week the Economy League released a study of regional non-profit sector. "It Matters: The Nonprofit Sector in Southeastern Pennsylvania" studied 5,300 nonprofits in the area. The keyf indings are:

The nonprofit community in southeastern Pennsylvania is large.

Nonprofit organizations in southeastern Pennsylvania total 15,000. Nearly 7,300 of those file tax returns, more than 5,300 organizations are classified as Public Charities, and more than 3,600 exist to provide households and individuals with direct services.

The nonprofit community in southeastern Pennsylvania is growing.

Since the year 2000, the number of nonprofits in southeastern Pennsylvania has grown by about 40%.

The nonprofit community in southeastern Pennsylvania is diverse, but revenues and assets are concentrated in a few groups.

While diverse in number of organizations and services provided, nonprofit revenues and assets are concentrated in three areas - Health, Education, and Human Services - reflecting the region's historic strengths in higher education and hospitals and its urban nature.

Nonprofit spending is large, growing, and dispersed widely across the region.

Southeastern Pennsylvania's Public Charities spent nearly $32 billion in 2007, and NPISH organizations spent close to $8.5 billion. By comparison, local governments spend about $9 billion annually. Nonprofit spending is highly concentrated among industry groups and the largest organizations.

The nonprofit sector would be the third largest private employment sector if it were recognized as an official economic sector.

There are more than 240,000 jobs in southeastern Pennsylvania's nonprofits - about 13% of the five-county total - supporting $11.3 billion in annual wages.

The nonprofit sector is a key contributor to a high quality of life in the region.

Nonprofits in southeastern Pennsylvania run on thin operating margins, particularly in the human services fields.

More than a third of Public Charities and 36% of NPISH organizations ran operating deficits for the 2007 period of analysis.

It is The Philadelphia Foundation's hope that sharing this information with the community will advance its vision of a dynamic and robust nonprofit sector that is critical to our regional quality of life. Click here to view the full report.


Robert Evans said...

This is an important report but it is not a surprise! What is a concern, however, is the level of charitable giving (or lack of it) in the region. Philadelphians are just not especially generous . . . as compared with people in other areas of the U.S. The real challenge falls on the feet of the non-profits to be more aggressive, more transformational, and more exciting about their impact and the needs they have.

AboveAvgJane said...


You have a good point. I've read that instead of numerous small non-profits we should encourage those with similar visions to merge.

I get fundraising letters from close to a dozen local organizations every year and cannot accommodate them all. But you are right that we could all be more generous.