February 18, 2020
Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector Has Grown 19% in Last Decade

March 28, 2013 — The number of public charity nonprofits in Massachusetts increased by nearly 19% during the last decade and today employs one out of every seven workers in the state, up slightly from 10 years ago.

Today, 455,900 people—14.5% of the state’s workforce—work for nonprofits, according to figures recently released by Independent Sector, a national coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs.

In 2003, 420,671 people—then 13% of the workforce—were employed by nonprofits, according to a report issued by MassINC, a nonprofit, Boston-based independent think tank, in 2005.

In 2000, Massachusetts nonprofits employed 387,346 people, or about 8.6% of the state’s workforce, according to MassINC.

According to Independent Sector, Massachusetts is home to 24,195 public charities, up 18.9% from the 20,345 registered public charities previously reported by MassINC.

Today, 4,289 private and public foundations are registered in Massachusetts, according to Independent Sector. In its report, MassINC had noted that there were 4,191 registered private foundations in Massachusetts in April 2004.

Employment by program area in the Massachusetts nonprofit sector today breaks down the same as in 2005:

Program Area
Share of Mass. Employment
Health Care
Education Services
Social Assistance
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic and Professional Orgs
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
All Others

In 2004, filing Massachusetts 501(c)(3) organizations reported $65 billion in income and $137 billion in assets. Today, those numbers have increased to $90.5 billion and $259 billion, respectively.

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