When asked to name the industrial sector generating the Commonwealth’s third largest number of jobs, few Virginians might answer “nonprofits.” Likewise, few might realize the economic contributions generated by this diverse and far-reaching sector:
The impact of nonprofits on numerous fronts is the topic of a newly published study entitled:
The Virginia’s Nonprofit Sector: Shaping the Economic, Cultural and Social Landscape.
A joint project of The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University, the report analyzes numerous aspects of the nonprofit world. The study’s authors studied how the national recession impacted nonprofits and their ability to support the broad range of services provided. Their analysis considers geographic differences, sources of revenue, growth and competition, as well as detailed wage information.
For example, the study demonstrates the significant economic impact generated by nonprofits across Virginia. Data indicates that Virginia’s nonprofit rate of growth over the past 11 years has far exceeded the national average. Further, “between 2000 and 2011, the nonprofit workforce achieved an average annual growth rate of 2.0 percent . . . By contrast, the for-profit workforce grew by a marginal .05 percent” (p. 17).
The study also clarifies a trend in for-profit competition, where many businesses have increased their work in fields traditionally dominated by nonprofits (social assistance, education, hospitals, nursing and residential care). “For-profit employment in the social assistance field achieved an average annual growth rate of 8.4 percent, which was nearly 8 times the nonprofit sector’s annual average growth rate of 1.1 percent” (p. 18).
The study concluded the nonprofit sector needed to (i) improve its visibility; (ii) boost its support; (iii) strengthen cooperation and collaboration with government; and (iv) build nonprofit capacity.
VCC served as a key funding partner of the study. To review the entire report click here.