RELEASE: New study shows nonprofit sector drives economic and community development in Maryland State

Nonprofits by the Numbers

Baltimore, MD / December 15, 2021 — Maryland Nonprofits is pleased to release Maryland Nonprofits by the Numbers, a joint product of Maryland Nonprofits and the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. Developed by Chelsea L. Newhouse, manager of the Center’s Nonprofit economic Data Project, this report is the first comprehensive study of the nonprofit sector in Maryland in five years and is available for free download.

“This report demonstrates what we have always known,” said Maryland Nonprofits President & CEO Heather Iliff, “that nonprofit organizations are essential drivers of economic and community development in Maryland.”

Maryland Nonprofits by the Numbers tapped the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Business Master File and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) to offer insight into Maryland’s nonprofit sector’s size, scope, and growth.

Highlighting the economic impact of Maryland’s nonprofit sector, the report finds that nonprofits employ 280,000 workers—nearly 13% of all non-governmental workers in Maryland—and more than every other major private industry in the state, with the single exception of retail trade. These nonprofit workers earned nearly $16 billion in total wages in 2017, with the average weekly nonprofit wage nearly equal to wages in the for-profit sector as a whole.

Other key findings include:

  1. Maryland’s nonprofits are a diverse set of institutions, with a clear focus on public service
  2. Maryland’s nonprofits generate significant revenue, concentrated in the largest institutions
  3. Nonprofits employ Maryland’s second-largest non-government workforce
  4. Maryland’s nonprofits provide a wide array of critical services
  5. Maryland’s nonprofits are a major generator of income
  6. Nonprofits in Maryland pay better average wages than their for-profit counterparts in key fields
  7. Maryland’s nonprofits are a key contributor to economic growth and resiliency, but for-profits are making inroads in key fields

­Alongside the report, a companion interactive dashboard allows users to view data on the size, scope, structure, and impact of Maryland’s nonprofits by county or region.

Maryland Nonprofits by the Numbers is dedicated to Dr. Lester M. Salamon, Professor Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, who passed away during the development of this report. The nonprofit community—in Maryland and beyond—is grateful to Dr. Salamon for being so generous with his vast knowledge, his vision, his humor, and his advocacy for social justice.

Find the full report here:

Explore the dashboard here:

About Maryland Nonprofits    

Home to more than 1,300 members, Maryland Nonprofits is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit associations, with the mission to strengthen organizations and networks for greater quality of life and equity. The association has 30 years of experience and expertise and provides a range of programs and services that help organizations build their capacity, operate more efficiently, engage in cross-sector dialogue fostering collaboration, and advocate for key policy issues. Maryland Nonprofits offers the Standards for Excellence®, a nationally replicated accreditation program that enhances governance, management and the public’s trust in the nonprofit sector, and is also home of the Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth and Maryland Latinos Unidos.