This page provides step-by-step instructions for using the Nonprofit Works Wizard, which will walk you through the steps to choose your data and generate a figure or table. Some data, including average weekly wages and the contextual data offered in Step 2, are only available to Nonprofit Works Premium members. These items are marked with an asterisk (*) in the instructions below. This page is divided into two sections: first, a FAQ about the site; and second, a step-by-step tutorial for making your first selections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What data are available?
Nonprofit Works provides access to data on:

  • Nonprofit paid employment from 1990-2011, 2015, and 2016 by state, county, and industry.
  • Nonprofit establishments from 1990-2011 and 2016 by state, county, and industry.
  • Total annual wages paid by nonprofits from 1990-2011 and 2016 by state, county, and industry.
  • Average weekly wage paid by nonprofits from 1990-2011 and 2016 by state, county, and industry.*
  • Comparison to employment, establishments, and wages in the for-profit and government (all levels) sectors.*
  • Nonprofit share of private (nonprofit + for-profit) or total (nonprofit + for-profit + government) employment or establishments by state, county, and industry.*
  • Nonprofit data in relation to total population, population under 19 years of age, population over 64 years of age, per capita median income, and public assistance share of median income.*

In what ways can I compare these data?
When you visit the site, you can immediately create figures comparing either nonprofit employment or total annual wages across any of the following: up to five geographical regions in a single industry and a single year; up to five industries in a single geographical region and a single year; or up to five years in a single geographical region and a single industry.

Can I compare more data points?
Yes! By creating a free user account or Nonprofit Works Premium membership, you will be able to make more robust comparisons, including nonprofit employment or total annual wages across a maximum of five selections in any two of the available dimensions—geographical regions, industries, or years. The third dimension will be limited to a single selection, however.

How can I access the Premium level data?
To access data on average weekly wages, or to place your nonprofit data in context with other sectors or demographics, you will need to sign up for a Nonprofit Works Premium account. Accounts are available for various time periods ranging from 24 hours to a full year.

Why are some options not available (greyed out)?
Throughout the site, you may notice that some parameters appear grey and are not available for selection. There may be several reasons for this, which should be noted when you encounter them. One reason may be your membership level—options that are only available to signed-in members (such as two multi-parameter selections) will be unavailable to unregistered visitors, while signed-in free users will be unable to select Nonprofit Works Premium data features, such as average weekly wages and contextual data. All users will also encounter greyed-out data when those data are not available for disclosure/suppression reasons. A full explanation of these data availability limitations can be found here.

What visualization options will I have?
Once you have selected your data parameters, you will be able to choose a visualization in the form of a bar chart, pie chart, graph,* or table; visualizations options will be limited by your data selections, however, as not all options are applicable to all data. When you choose a chart or graph, you will also have the option to customize your colors, and to choose which dimension to display on the X and Y axes as applicable.

How do I save my visualization?
Users who have not created an account will not be able to download their visualizations. Once you have created a free account, however, you can download your visualization as an image file (.png). Nonprofit Works Premium members will be able to download their visualizations as an image file (.png), a PDF file, or as a machine-readable file (.csv).

Can I save my searches or selections for future access?
Users who have not created an account will not be able to save their selections. However, once you have created a free account, you can save several options for access the next time you visit the site, including your geographical choice, your industry selection, and your preferred visualization options. Nonprofit Works Premium members are able to save multiple preferred searches and visualization options.

How to use the Data Section Wizard

Below, we provide step-by-step instructions to using the Data Selection Wizard for the first time. Once you create a user account, your primary selections (state, industry, and visualization preference) will be saved and you will be able to skip several of the steps below. Nonprofit Works Premium members will be able to save full searches for quick access.

The Data Selection Wizard also provides helpful tips and instructions for each step by clicking on the icons.

First, choose your preferred localization level. You can choose to look at state-level data, county-level data, or to compare data on the state-level data to data from counties within that state. All states and the District of Columbia are available for all years; data for Puerto Rico are only available for 2016. Note that 2015 county-level data are not available by industry. In the 2016 data, county-level indstry data are limited to Educatinoal Services, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Other Fields of Activity.

Second, choose whether you would like to look at nonprofit employment, nonprofit establishments, total annual nonprofit wages, or average weekly nonprofit wages*. Note that only employment data are available for 2015.

Once you have made your selections, click "next" to go to Step 2.


[Note that this step is only available to Nonprofit Works Premium members.]

This step allows you to put your nonprofit data into context. The contextual data output through this step will reflect your selections in all other steps of the Wizard. Here you will have three options, of which you will only be able to choose one in a given search:

  • OPTION 1: If you would like to compare nonprofits to their counterparts in the for-profit and/or government sectors, select one or both of the options under OPTION 1.
  • OPTION 2: If you would like to see what percent of employment, establishments, or total annual wages are accounted for by nonprofits, you can choose either total private (nonprofit + for-profit) or total (nonprofit + for-profit + government), select one of the options under OPTION 2. Note that this option is not available for average weekly wages.
  • OPTION 3: If you would like to see demand indicators for nonprofit services, you can choose to see a variety of population and income data. Choose up to 5 parameters under OPTION 3. Note that these data will only be available to output as a table/.csv file.

Once you have made your selections, click "next" to go to Step 3.

If you chose to look at state-level data in Step 1, check the boxes next to the state(s) or territory in which you are interested.

If you chose to look at data on the county level or to compare a state/territory's overall data to a selection of its counties, first choose your state/territory, and then, in the second selection field, choose up to 5 counties to include in your comparison.

Here, you can also choose to include U.S. total nonprofit employment as well, however, please note that this will limit your year selections to 2007 and later.

Once you have made your selections, click "next" to go to Step 4.

Select the year or years you would like to see. What you can choose here will be determined by your previous choices and data availability.

Single Year: If you selected more than one geographic area in Step Three and plan to select more than one field of activity/industry in Step Five, you must choose a single year of data to display.

Year Range: If you have selected only one geographic area in Step 2 and/or plan to select only one field or activity/industry in Step 5, you can choose up to 5 years of data to display.

Note that 2015 data are projections based on trend data in each state from 2007-2012 as released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data for this year are limited to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy, and are therefore only available at the 2-digit NAICS industry level for state-level data; 2015 data for a limited number of counties are available as totals only. In addition, data on wages and establishments are not available for this year. See the methodology page for more information.

Once you have made your selections, click "next" to go to Step 5.

Now you can choose up to 5 fields of activity in which nonprofits are present for comparison. You will be able to choose only those industries where nonprofit employment, wage, or establishment data are available for the geographic area(s) and year(s) you selected in the previous steps. In addition, the number of industries you can select will be limited based on your previous selections, membership level, and data availability. If you want to look at overall nonprofit employment or wages, click the "All fields" box.

The fields of activity listed here are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, which break activity into both 2-digit “parent” industries, and more specific 3-digit “sub-industries.” You can use the “change sorting” toggle to change the sorting between alphabetical and hierarchical, with the 3-digit industries listed below their 2-digit parent. Note that 2015 state-level data are only available on the 2-digit industry code level; 2015 county-level data are available as totals only, and you will be limited to choosing “All fields” in this step if you are looking at county-level data for that year.

Once you have made your selections, click "next" to go to Step 6.

When you hover over the six available visualization types, the available figures for the comparison you have chosen will be highlighted. Click on your choice, and then click "next" to review your selections and to finalize the layout and design of your figure in Step 7.

This pane displays the choices that you have made, and allows you to manipulate the visualization that you will generate. You can choose what to display on the x- and y-axes if applicable and customize your colors using a selection tool or by inputting a hex color code. When you are satisfied with your selections and colors, click "Finish" to generate your figure.


If you would like to change any of your selections, you can do so from this screen by clicking on the green boxes above the figure. If you would like to change the type of figure, you can do so by clicking on an alternate visualization on the left.

To download your visualzation, choose from the available formats located above the top right-hand corner of the figure/table box. this will automatically download the visualization or table to your computer.

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