montgomery county nonprofits:
key numbers

Number of 501(c)3 nonprofits in Montgomery County, MD: 5,125

Section 501(c) of the IRS code designates 28 types of nonprofits. Nationwide and here in Montgomery County, by far the most common type is 501(c)3, which indicates that a nonprofit has charitable purposes, and that donations to the group are tax-deductible. In 2012, out of 6,390 nonprofits in the county, 80 percent (5,125) were 501(c)3 organizations.

Number of people employed by nonprofits in the County: 43,371

One in 10 workers in the County is employed by a nonprofit — a number in line with the national average. In 2012, nonprofit workers in the County earned $2.2 billion in total wages. In addition, the nonprofit workforce is highly educated and highly skilled. Nationally, 45 percent of full-time nonprofit employees have a college or advanced degree, and professional specialty occupations account for 38 percent of employees in the sector.

Total purchasing power of nonprofits in the County: nearly $4 billion

Nonprofits are businesses, first and foremost – they just have a different kind of bottom line. Like their for-profit counterparts, they are an essential part of Montgomery County’s economic landscape, paying wages and purchasing goods and services.

Nonprofits in the County with annual budgets of $1 million or more: 546
Nonprofits with annual budgets of $100,00 or less: 3,726

Just like their for-profit counterparts, nonprofit organizations come in all sizes. According to 2012 IRS data, 72.7 percent of nonprofits in the County had budgets of $100,000 or less, 16.7 percent had budgets between $100,000 and $1 million, and 10.6 percent had budgets of $1 million or more.

Many of the smallest nonprofits — the 61 percent with budgets under $25,000 — have a single part-time employee or are volunteer run. This segment of the sector includes nonprofit groups like PTAs, neighborhood associations, and sports leagues. Those with modest budgets between $25,000 and $100,000 are akin to small businesses, with just a few employees (often assisted by a cadre of volunteers).

At the other end of the spectrum, some of the County’s largest nonprofit businesses have multi-million dollar budgets and hundreds of employees. In 2012, the County was home to 208 nonprofits with budgets of more than $5 million.

MoCo 501c3 by AR
Maryland residents who volunteer: 1.3 million

As charitable organizations, nonprofits have the unique ability to harness the power of volunteers of all types, from board members, to professionals who provide skills-based services, to program and administrative volunteers who help deliver services and keep things running behind the scenes.

In 2013, 28.5 percent of Maryland residents volunteered, donating a total of 151.5 million hours – time that is valued at $3.4 billion. Nationally, 62.6 million Americans (one in four adults) volunteered in 2013 , for a total of nearly 7.7 billion volunteer hours valued at nearly $173 billion.

what do nonprofits do?

The nonprofit sector is a tapestry that includes many types of organizations, large and small. Nonprofits exist to serve a wide variety of populations, from the general public to groups with specialized needs. While some nonprofit groups have obvious commonalities, there are so many variables – including each organization’s unique history and place in the community – that there truly is no “typical” nonprofit.

Many nonprofits focus on human needs and provide a social safety net for our most vulnerable neighbors – including children, seniors, families living in poverty, and individuals with mental or physical disabilities. Montgomery County has around 1,200 public charities delivering human services, as well as 400+  health nonprofits  (including five nonprofit hospitals).

Nonprofits also strengthen community and help us fulfill our potential, individually and collectively. In Montgomery County, more than 600 nonprofits work in education and more than 250  focus on environmental issues. Another 400+ enrich and enlighten through arts and culture.

The work of  many nonprofits isn’t always reflected by the primary category used to describe them. For instance, a human services nonprofit assisting people with Alzheimer’s may offer programs that rely on visual art or music as therapeutic tools. Conversely, an arts group may manage programs that send performers and teaching artists into schools or nursing homes.

Collaborations between nonprofits and across sectors add additional texture and nuance to what nonprofits do and how they do it.

Nonprofit Montgomery
is an alliance of more than 100 nonprofits. Together, our members…

  • Manage $275 million in resources
  • Employ and manage more than 3,500 employees (full-time equivalent)
  • Manage 45,500 volunteers
  • Rely on the leadership of 1,280 board members

Our 100+ members touch the lives of nearly 3 million clients, or about three times the population of Montgomery County! Many county residents benefit from programs and services offered by multiple nonprofits — and everyone in our community benefits from the work of nonprofits, directly or indirectly.

For a more detailed picture of Montgomery County’s nonprofit sector and its economic and social impact, download our Beyond Charity report.


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