Non-Profit Organizations – Total and Exempt Organizations by Category

Description of the Indicator
This indicator provides information on the number and structure of non-profit organizations in the region. Non-profits are categorized by the IRS based on their designated purpose.

Why is it important?
Non-profit organizations are formed for the purpose of serving a public or mutual benefit other than the pursuit or accumulation of profits for owners and investors. They provide a mechanism for promoting initiatives for the public good. Non-profits organizations provide a means by which community members can take action in an attempt to change the community in which they live.

What does it mean or how is the region performing?
The region has a fair number of non-profit organizations at about four percent of the state’s total. While the totals do not correlate with population size, what is more important is their capacity, category, and subject matter expertise. The 501(c3) is by far the largest in each county and these organizations tend to serve the most vulnerable through their efforts. There is a significant drop off in the number of organizations from 2010 – 2020. Per the Urban Institute, “In fact, tax year 2010 contains far more returns than other tax years. This is likely due to data quality issues with the IRS itself. Their business master files must have added/deleted nonprofit records based on regulatory/compliance/data processing changes. Another potential source of error might be the 2020 tax year being a covid tax year, thus making the IRS more lenient with tax filing deadlines. The 2020 tax year files are still in the process of being backfilled and this can explain the discrepancy.”