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Nonprofits' Impact

Nonprofits are all around us. Their impact is more significant than you might realize.


  • As of 2022, nonprofits in the US employed 12.3 million people with payrolls exceeding those most of other U.S industries including construction, transportation, and finance (National Council for Nonprofits, 2022)

  • US nonprofits employ more than 10% of the total private workforce in the US and spend nearly $2 trillion annually (The National Council of Nonprofits, 2019)

  • As of 2022, the United States has roughly 1.8 million nonprofit organizations, including 501(c)(3) public charities, private foundations, and a variety of membership and professional organizations (Independent Sector, 2023)

  • In the third quarter of 2022, nonprofits contributed $1.5 trillion to the economy and the gross added value of nonprofits returned to the more typical range of 5.7% of GDP (Independent Sector, 2022)

In Pennsylvania

Number of Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations (State Profile - PA - Independent Sector):

  • All nonprofit organizations: 63,345

  • 501(c)(3) Public Charities (includes some religious organizations): 37,600

  • 501(c)(3) Private and Public Foundations: 6,208

  • Other 501(c) Nonprofit Organizations: 19,537

Economic Impact of the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Sector (State Profile - PA - Independent Sector):

  • Employs 790,368 - over 15% of the state’s workforce

  • Generates almost $132 billion in annual revenues

  • Holds assets of $306.3 billion

  • Pennsylvania foundations annually give over $2.4 billion

  • Pennsylvanians give almost $6.5 billion to charity each year, representing 2.68% of household income


  • There are more than 500 nonprofits in Erie County and more than 140 nonprofits in Crawford County. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Nonprofits account for more than 19% of private employment—more than 20,000 jobs—in the Erie, PA metropolitan statistical area. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Similarly, in Crawford County, nonprofits account for just over 19% of private employment—more than 4,700 jobs. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • In 2016, approximately $828,873,000 in wages was paid to Erie County nonprofit staff; approximately $189,228,000 was paid to nonprofit staff in Crawford County. (Johns Hopkins University)

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