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5 Surprising Facts About Nonprofits

Explore the impact that nonprofit organizations make and why nonprofit jobs matter.

What does your neighborhood association have in common with the multibillion-dollar Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? Both are nonprofit organizations. And as such, they play an incredibly important role in our everyday lives. Nonprofits help millions of people every day, whether through nutrition programs, educational assistance, public health initiatives, providing shelter for the homeless, or protecting the environment. These are all critical missions requiring the strong leadership skills that an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership can provide..

How deeply are nonprofits woven into the fabric of our community? Here are some facts you may not be aware of:

5 Surprising Facts About Nonprofits

  • If the nonprofit sector were a country, it would be the 16th largest in the world, as measured by gross domestic product, according to The World Bank Group.1
  • In 2012, nonprofit groups employed just over 11 million people in the U.S. That’s more than 10% of private sector employment.2
  • An estimated 25% of all Americans over age 16 served as volunteers for a nonprofit between September 2010 and September 2014.1
  • Individuals, foundations, and bequests contributed $358 billion to nonprofits in 2014.1
  • In 2014, religious organizations received the largest share of charitable donations at 32%. Educational nonprofits were second with 15%. The third largest share went to human service organizations.1

Clearly, the nonprofit sector has a tremendous economic and social impact, bringing programs that reflect our highest ideals to people at all levels of society. But the sector requires innovative and strategic thinking to sustain these programs and to ensure that they can fulfill their mission. Many of the nation’s top business schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs that provide valuable skills for nonprofit jobs. You can obtain a business or management degree—or a more specialized degree like an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership—to help prepare to enter the nonprofit sector..

Online universities also play an important role in providing the skills and critical thinking that are required by nonprofit organizations. For example, online graduate degree programs are quite flexible, allowing you to complete coursework at home and on a convenient online platform. They also offer specialization in areas like effective governance, leadership strategies, and building organizational effectiveness..

No matter what your area of interest—healing, feeding, sheltering, or educating—nonprofits give you the opportunity to reach out to others and make a difference. And online learning makes it easier than ever to prepare yourself for a leadership role in this invaluable sector..

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership program, which has a number of unique specializations to match your career goals. Walden also offers a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management program, providing an introduction to the nonprofit industry..



Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission