The Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector

An Economic Profile

Published Date : March 1, 2005
Sponsors :The Boston Foundation

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector: An Economic Profile, made possible through the generous support of the Mellon Charitable Giving Program/Alice P. Chase Trust and The Boston Foundation, and in partnership with the University College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.

This new report shows that Massachusetts nonprofits contribute substantially to the Bay State economy. Our research finds that the nonprofit sector is among the largest in the nation, employing more than 13 percent of the state’s workforce – nearly double the national average. The nonprofit sector employs more people than most industries in Massachusetts as well as the entire public sector. The report also reveals that nonprofit employees are highly skilled, with nonprofit workers more likely to hold four-year college degrees and to work as professionals and managers than the workforce as a whole.

In recent years, the nonprofit sector has been one of the few bright spots in the state economy, adding more than 33,000 jobs, an increase of 9 percent, during a time of overall employment decline. However, these overall findings mask the diversity of the Commonwealth’s nearly 25,000 nonprofits, which range from leading universities and health care institutions to the myriad of small community organizations.

Different parts of the nonprofit sector face different challenges. We hope that this report will shed new light on this vital contributor of employment and economic opportunity in the Bay State.

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