Nonprofit Economic Data Project (NED)

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The Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Economic Data Project (NED) is generating critical new information on the dynamics of the nonprofit sector by analyzing diverse datasets on nonprofit organizations, including data on nonprofit finances, employment and wages, and volunteering.
Nonprofit organizations are facing increased pressures in states and localities throughout the United States, but the nonprofit sector’s ability to respond to these pressures has been limited by a lack of timely information about how prevailing economic realities are affecting the sector.
NED is helping to tackle this problem by charting economic trends in the nonprofit sector including how employment, wages, and finances have changed over time and in relation to other industries. Moreover, the project is able to analyze these data at the national, regional, state, and local level, and to focus on particular subsectors, such as nursing homes, hospitals, home health centers, education, social services, and the arts.
A collaboration between the Center for Civil Society Studies, state employment security agencies, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and state nonprofit associations, NED offers the most up-to-date, in-depth analyses now available on these important aspects of the nonprofit sector.
Our analyses and reports are truly reshaping how the sector is viewed in local, state, and regional economies. For instance, among other things, our work has shown that:

  • Nonprofit employment is much larger than expected and much more widely dispersed, outdistancing many major industries in its contribution to state employment and payrolls.
  • Nonprofit employment is dynamic, growing more rapidly than overall employment.
  • Nonprofit employment is spreading to the suburbs and rural areas.
  • Nonprofit wages actually exceed for-profit wages in many of the fields where both sectors operate.
  • Nonprofits in many states are losing “market share” to for-profit firms in many fields where both sectors are operating, despite their overall growth.

Please visit the Project Services page for more detail on the data sources we use to measure nonprofit employment, finances, and the contributions of volunteers.
If you are interested in collaborating with the Nonprofit Economic Data Project on a report focused on your region, state, or field, please contact Chelsea Newhouse.