Stay Connected
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter Recommend us on LinkedIn

2015 NJ Non-Profit Trends and Outlook Report


New Jersey's Non-Profit Sector: An Economic Force


2014 NJ Non-Profit Trends and Outlook Report



National Council of Nonprofits
Trends in the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofits by the Numbers

Myths about Nonprofits

Urban Institute
National Center for Charitable Statistics

New Jersey's Non-Profit Community

"The Center helps me remember the bigger picture. It reminds me that what affects any segment of the non-profit community affects me."
-- James A. Hemm, Former Executive Director, NJ Association on Correction

Basic Facts/Figures

  • 30,000 501(c)(3) organizations in NJ
  • NJ 501(c)(3)’s employ 314,000 people – nearly 10% of the state’s private sector work force and more people than many major industries including construction, utilities, transportation, finance and insurance.
  • Over $37 billion in annual expenditures by NJ 501(c)(3) organizations – much of it within the Garden State
  • 88% of NJ 501(c)(3) organizations have budgets under $500,000
  • Over 1.5 million people volunteer at New Jersey non-profits annually, providing over 160 million hours of service valued at more than $3.4 billion.

Sources: Center for Non-Profits, “New Jersey’s Non-Profit Sector: An Economic Force, 2009-2010 Edition;” Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics; and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

New Jersey Non-Profit Issues/Trends

  • 78% of NJ non-profit survey respondents say that demand for services had risen in 2014
  • 80% expected demand to increase in 2015
  • 50% reported receiving more total funding in 2014 vs. 2013, but 64% reported that their expenses were higher than in the previous year, and 26% reported that expenses exceeded support and revenue during their most recently completed fiscal year.
  • 72% expected expenses to rise in the coming year (2014) but only 57% expected total income to increase
  • Levels of optimism remained about the same as one year ago and higher than 2013, with increased funding most often predicted from individual gifts, foundations and special events.
  • Non-profits have adapted by taking a combination of actions, such as continuing to seek additional sources of revenue and recruit additional volunteers to support their work; adding new programs; launching new collaborative efforts; or exploring mergers/consolidations.

Top 5 issues affecting individual organization viability (aside from funding):

  • Need for better branding/communications (54%)
  • Financial uncertainty (44%)
  • Need for stronger board of trustees (40%)
  • Cannot afford enough good staff (34%)
  • Increased benefits/insurance costs (29%)

Top 5 issues affecting non-profit sector viability in the coming decade:

  • Attracting/retaining capable, committed board members (59%)
  • Foundation/corporate funding (52%)
  • Non-profit infrastructure/capacity building (51%)
  • Improving public understanding about non-profits (40%)
  • Attracting/retaining qualified workers (36%)

Source: Center for Non-Profits, New Jersey Non-Profits 2015: Trends and Outlook

Non-Profit Values

In some way or another, everyone’s life is touched by the work of a non-profit. 

Non-profits enhance our daily lives by:

  • engaging us in civic discourse;
  • assisting New Jersey’s most vulnerable people;
  • educating and mentoring our youth as well as adults who want to continue to learn;
  • providing stewardship to parks and other open spaces that provide respite from a busy world;
  • encouraging creativity and an exchange of ideas through public television and radio;
  • offering artistic inspiration and cultural enrichment;
  • providing an outlet for generosity through volunteerism and donations;
  • motivating social change; and
  • ensuring vital services that span a lifetime.

Non-profit organizations are an essential part of maintaining a strong quality of life in New Jersey, and they are also a valuable component of the state’s economic engine.  There are approximately 30,000  501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in New Jersey, not only providing essential programs and services in our communities, but also serving as a vital part of our economy.  IRS data show that New Jersey’s non-profits combined spend more than $37 billion annually, most of it in the Garden State.  New Jersey non-profits employ more than 314,000 people – nearly 10% of the state’s private workforce, and more than the state’s transportation and public utilities industries, more than the construction industry, and more than the banking and insurance industries.

Non-profits make up a vital sector that improves life for everyone. Non-profits are all about service to others, strengthening communities, finding common bonds across disparate personal and professional backgrounds, and enriching our society in countless ways large and small.  Every day, non-profits realize significant accomplishments that make our world a better place.