National Trends

On average, nonprofit employees earn slightly more than those working at for-profit companies. This may come as a surprise to many, but it supports the idea that nonprofits must compete for highly capable, talented, ethical, productive, and creative employees just like for-profit companies and offering a comparable salary is one way to do just that.

Attracting employees to the nonprofit sector is important because the sector is growing fast. From 1998 to 2005, employment in nonprofits outpaced national growth in other sectors by approximately ten percent. Furthermore, from 1998 to 2008, the number of registered nonprofits grew by 31 percent.

The following information provides some background of the nonprofit sector in the United States:

  • There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States
  • Approximately 80 million people volunteer with nonprofit organizations
  • The nonprofit sector employs more than 14 million people
  • In 2009, volunteers contributed 15 billion hours to nonprofits nationally, an amount worth $279 billion at the current average wage rate
  • U.S. based nonprofits have over $4.3 trillion in assets

Access the Urban Institute report on the nonprofit sector for more information.


The Center for NGO Leadership & Development
Zulauf Hall 114
(815) 753-4410