Nonprofit Trends and Impacts


Nonprofit organizations in the United States play a vital role delivering services, strengthening communities, and facilitating civic engagement. In our nationally representative surveys of nonprofit organizations, we focus on operating 501(c)(3) public charities whose activities range from direct service provision to community building and advocacy. We provide public use datasets of most of the survey data we collect so that others across the country can investigate questions of their own.

Project Contributors
Portrait of Alan

Alan Abramson

Professor; Director, Center on Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Social Enterprise

George Mason University

Portrait of Elizabeth

Elizabeth Boris

Institute Fellow

Urban Institute

Portrait of Teresa

Teresa Derrick-Mills

Principal Research Associate

Urban Institute / LHP

Portrait of Mirae

Mirae Kim

Associate Professor; Director, Master of Public Administration Program

George Mason University

Portrait of Lewis

Lewis Faulk

Associate Professor

American University

Portrait of Jesse

Jesse Lecy

Associate Professor, Data Scientist

ASU / Urban Institute

Portrait of Hannah

Hannah Martin

Policy Analyst

Urban Institute / CNP

Portrait of Thiyaghessan

Thiyaghessan Poongundranar

Data Scientist

Urban Institute / CNP

Portrait of Calton

Calton Pu

John P. Imlay, Jr. Chair in Software

Georgia Tech

Portrait of Laura

Laura Tomasko

Senior Policy Program Manager

Urban Institute

Highlighted Resources

link Nonprofit Trends and Impacts 2021
pdf Findings on US Donation Trends, 2015–2020: Nonprofit Trends and Impacts 2021
pdf National Findings on Diversity and Representation in the Nonprofit Sector

Public Use Data Files

Research Guides

Sampling Methods PUF Details Technical Guide
2021 Data

Public Use Data File Data Dictionary Survey Questions
2022 Data

Public Use Data File Data Dictionary Survey Questions
2023 Data

Public Use Data File Data Dictionary Survey Questions
Qualtrics Files

Qualtrics survey files (QCF) are available for all versions of the survey instrument and are shared so that researchers may incorporate Nonprofit Trends questions into their own surveys. Public use data files serve as nationally-representative benchmarks that are helpful for triangulating results of any custom study samples. Pro-programmed Qualtrics files make it easier to integrate these existing survey tools into your own study. See "Survey Question" links above for word document versions of the instruments.

QCF Year 1 QCF Year 2 QCF Year 3

Restricted Use Data Files

Restricted use files are available to qualified researchers upon request.

Select Works Citing Nonprofit Trends Data:

Abramson, Alan J. 2023. “Assessing the State of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: What Indicators Should We Use?” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 52 (2): 544–59.
Akingbola, Kunle, Sean Edmund Rogers, and Melissa Intindola. 2023. “Nonprofit Organizations: The Land of Engagement.” In Employee Engagement in Nonprofit Organizations : Theory and Practice, edited by Kunle Akingbola, Sean Edmund Rogers, and Melissa Intindola, 37–75. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Clary, Patricia A., and Patricia Vezina Rose. 2022. “The Impact of COVID-19: The Phenomenological Effect of Burnout on Women in the Nonprofit Sector and Implications for the Post-Pandemic Work World.” Merits 2 (4): 331–41.
Despard, Mathieu. 2023. “Promoting Staff Financial Well-Being in Human Service Organizations: The Role of Pay, Benefits, and Working Conditions.” Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance 47 (5): 404–21.
Dula, Lauren. 2022. “These Are the People in Your Neighborhood: Community Logics and Board Gender Composition in United Ways.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership 33 (1): 33–57.
Einolf, Christopher J. 2022. “The Career Paths of Executive Directors: Founders, Fillers, Planners and Risers.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership 33 (2): 229–48.
Fu, Jiawei Sophia, Katherine R. Cooper, DaJung Woo, and Melanie Kwestel. 2023. “Beyond Stakeholder Management: Organizational Listening for Nonprofit Stakeholder Engagement.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, September, 08997640231201068.
Gooyabadi, Ali A., Zahra GorjianKhanzad, and Newton Lee. 2024. “Nonprofits Vs. For-Profits Digitalization.” In Nonprofit Digital Transformation Demystified: A Practical Guide, edited by Ali A. Gooyabadi, Zahra GorjianKhanzad, and Newton Lee, 69–79. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland.
Intindola, Melissa, and Cari Burke-Kolehmainen. 2023. “Creeping COVID Catastrophe: The Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits by Sector.” Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management 35 (5): 621–43.
Jo, Suyeon, Laurie Paarlberg, and Rebecca Nesbit. 2023. “Volunteering Behaviors of People of Color in the US Communities: How Community Racial Composition Affects the Type of Organization People of Color Volunteer For.” VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 34 (4): 760–76.
Kim, Mirae, and Bo Li. 2023. “Financial Challenges of Nonprofits Serving People of Color: Original Survey Results.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 52 (5): 1145–68.
Kuenzi, Kerry, Marlene Walk, and Amanda Stewart. 2022. “How Are Nonprofit Workers Doing? Investigating the Personal and Professional Impact of COVID-19.” Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research 13 (2): 17 pp–.
Lam, Marcus M., Jessica K. A. Word, and Nathan J. Grasse. 2023. “Human Service OrganizationsParticipation in the Paycheck Protection Program: A Cross-Sector Comparison.” Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance 0 (0): 1–17.
Lee, Young-joo. 2023. “The Color of Nonprofit Leadership: Nonprofits with a CEO of Color.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership 33 (4): 865–78.
———. 2024. “Board Gender Diversity and Nonprofit CEO Compensation: Implications for Gender Pay Gap.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 53 (1): 257–73.
Lens, Vicki, Lily Bushman-Copp, and Christopher Wimer. 2024. “Help-Seeking from Nonprofits and Social Networks During the Pandemic: A Qualitative Study.” Journal of Policy Practice and Research, February.
Li, Bo. 2023. “Racial Diversity at the Leadership Level: The Case of Nonprofit Human Service Organizations.” AYSPS Dissertations, August.
Mendez-Caltzontzint, Desiree. 2022. “An Examination of the Relationship Between Transformational Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness in Nonprofit Organizations.” {PhD} {Thesis}, Our Lady of the Lake University.
Mook, Laurie. 2023. “Measuring Volunteer Inputs: Telling the Whole Story.” In Research Handbook on Nonprofit Accounting, 133–53. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Mumford, Steven W. 2022. “Doing More with Less: Racial Diversity in Nonprofit Leadership and Organizational Resilience.” Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs.
Mumford, Steven W., Nicole S. Hutton, and Stephanie M. Riegel. 2024. “Contributions of the Paycheck Protection Program to Nonprofit Short-Term Sustainability.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 53 (1): 186–209.
Parker, Kimberly A., Sarah A. Geegan, Samantha N. Pfeiffer, Ansley M. George, Danielle E. Jaffe, Adriane Grumbein, Sylvia Scheuer, and Allison D. Brown. 2024. “Engaging a New Generation of Donors: A Relationship Management Theory Approach to Communication Between Nonprofits and Millennials.” Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing 29 (1): e1816.
Phillips, Kenneth. 2023. Trust, Impact, and Fundraising for Nonprofits: How Meaningful Ethics and Strategic Evaluation Can Multiply Your Revenue and Expand Your Program. New York: Routledge.
Thomas, Benjamin J. 2024. “Understanding Nonprofit Leader Engagement and Turnover: A Story of Job Demands and Resources.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership 34 (3): 707–28.
Walters, Jayme. 2022. “The Role of Rural Nonprofits: Innovation, Opportunities, and Threats.” In Rural Areas in Transition. Routledge.
Webb, Keilee. 2023. “The Relationship of Insufficient Resources to Leadership Burnout in Rural Nonprofit Organizations.” Honors College Theses, December.
Yan, Jiaju, Nick Mmbaga, and David Gras. 2023. “In Pursuit of Diversification Opportunities, Efficiency, and Revenue Diversification: A Generalization and Extension for Social Entrepreneurship.” Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal 17 (1): 132–59.
Young, Dennis, and Elizabeth Searing. 2022. “Introduction to Resilience and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations.” In Resilience and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations, 1–14. Edward Elgar Publishing.
ZigmanLador, Orit. 2023. “The Impact of Covid-19 on Community Based-Organizations: A Case Study of Jewish Organizations.” Theses and Dissertations, January.

More Resources

Regulation of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Project

A project advancing research and practice on nonprofit regulatory frameworks and their impact on the sector


National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) Codes

IRS Activity Codes Used to Categorize Nonprofits


2019 Nonprofit Sector in Brief

The 2019 Sector Brief discusses trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities and key findings on two important resources for the nonprofit sector: private charitable contributions and volunteering.

nccscore sector-brief trends