Published Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The nonprofit sector may be the Rodney Dangerfield of the economy — it doesn’t get as much respect as the corporate or government sectors — but that might be because people don’t realize just how big it’s become.
It now employs nearly one in 10 American workers and has annual revenue in the trillions of dollars, according to a report in the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Fedgazette.
It could even be the nation’s most productive sector, due to its heavy reliance on volunteer labor.
Don’t believe it? As the Fedgazette says, if you’ve ever been a Scout, belonged to a church, listened to a live orchestra, had a baby, if you’re a veteran, if you’ve volunteered, or been a member of the Chamber of Commerce — among, many, many other things — then you’ve participated in the “middle child” of the economy.
Much of the growth in the nonprofit sector is due to government spending. Instead of adding employees, government has been adding services and turning to the nonprofit sector — particularly in health care — to provide the services."