In the United States alone, there are nearly 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in operation, and they’re on the rise.
That number, not surprisingly, accounts for a significant portion of the modern economy these days. It may not be the lion’s share, but it’s nothing to scoff at either. Of course, this wasn’t always the case, but in the last decade alone, nonprofit companies have grown and become a great source for positive influence on the economy. And with that comes other big draws as well.
The job market has seen a steady growth in numbers since the expansion of the nonprofit’s much-needed role. Undaunted by the recent major economic recession, nonprofits saw their employment rates increase by a value of 1.9 percent each year between the second quarter of 2007 and the same time in 2009, according to the John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. In fact, nonprofits have accounted for over nine percent of all wages and salaries in the United States according to recent studies released by the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics. As recently as 2010, the nonprofit sector of the job market employed a total of around 10.7 million workers around the nation, including in Metro Detroit.
So what do all these numbers mean for the Motor City and for the state of nonprofits in our nation? Well, they mean a lot, actually.
One reason analysts seem to think there has been a rise in the number of nonprofits in recent memory is due to their relatively easy nature to be created. The IRS has over 30 categories of tax-exempt organizations and public charities, and a massively progressive income isn’t necessarily mandatory to keep these companies running, of which the same cannot be said about for-profit companies.
And it isn’t just public service-specific jobs that these nonprofits seek to hire and employ. In Metro Detroit alone, nonprofits employ scientists to conduct research, nurses to help run medical facilities and provide much-needed heath care web developers to create eye-catching websites. Just about any type of career you can imagine can be utilized by one of the many nonprofits in your local area.
Detroit is certainly seeing better days, but truth be told, when things were at their absolute worst in the Motor City, nonprofits became integral in helping to provide goods and services to the many, many citizens in need. Everything from basic necessities for survival, such as supplying food and clothing, to crucial benefits for advancing the quality of life, like job training and skill assessments, nonprofits could be called the “motor” that keeps the Motor City humming and always moving forward.
For-profits and nonprofits both have their positives and negatives within the realm of the economy and each obviously has much to offer now that the recession has ended. But let us not forget the incredible efforts of those nonprofits that saw such a dramatic growth in the face of dwindling hope in the job market. Nonprofits offer vital support for our economic livelihood, keep job production rolling and increase our modern standard of living in a number of ways.
Without them, who knows just where Detroit and similar cities would be?
Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.