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Report shows nonprofits were slow to recover at the end of 2021

Written on Apr 18, 2022

The newest Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Quarterly Review released by Independent Sector found the health of the nonprofit sector appeared to be holding steady or very slowly improving at the end of 2021, but still lagged the recovery observed in other sectors.  

Key findings: 

  • Nonprofits contributed $1.4 trillion to the economy 
  • The economic recovery of nonprofits appears to be slower than the overall economy
  • Charitable giving does not appear to be keeping pace with economic growth rates
  • The nonprofit sector still has not recovered 495,000 nonprofit jobs, with arts jobs experiencing the slowest recovery
  • The racial and ethnic composition of the nonprofit workforce largely tracks with the broader workforce, but it became whiter in the fourth quarter of 2021 

The report recommends at least three actions based on nonprofit data available at the end of 2021: 

  • Communicate to policymakers the urgent need for timely data on nonprofit jobs to track recovery and identify potential disparities 
  • Leverage research and the lived experience of nonprofit employees to better understand workforce trends, particularly the extent broader trends apply to nonprofit staff 

  • Encourage policymakers to consider modifying economic metrics to reflect more accurately the full breadth of the nonprofit sector’s economic contributions