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

2019 NJ Non-Profit Trends and Outlook Report


2018 Issues & Trends Cover


2017 Issues & Trends Cover


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




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

  • 34,000+ 501(c)(3) organizations in NJ
  • NJ 501(c)(3)’s employ 324,000 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 $42 billion in annual expenditures by NJ 501(c)(3) organizations – much of it within the Garden State
  • More than 80% of reporting NJ 501(c)(3) public charities have budgets under $500,000
  • Over 1.6 million people volunteer at New Jersey non-profits annually, providing over 225 million hours of service valued at more than $5.3 billion.
  • “Non-profit” doesn’t mean “no profit.” Like any business, a non-profit CAN – and, indeed, should – retain year-end surpluses and cash reserves in order to remain financially healthy. The surpluses must be devoted to the organization’s exempt purpose.
  • And like any successful business, charities must invest in their own infrastructure (technology, planning, R&D, professional development) in order to be sustainable. Charities that skimp on these items are LESS effective, starving themselves of strategic resources necessary to do their work. Overhead or administrative expenses such as audits, insurance, facility maintenance, etc., are important to ensuring organizational safety, compliance and accountability.

Data Sources: IRS Business Master File of Exempt Organizations; DataLake Nonprofit Research ( © 2018, DataLake, LLC; Corporation for National & Community Service; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Independent Sector; and Johns Hopkins University

New Jersey Non-Profit Issues/Trends (2019)

  • 66% of NJ non-profit survey respondents said that demand for services had risen in 2018
  • 76% expected demand to increase in 2019 and 68% expected expenses to rise – but only 49% expected funding to increase
  • 38% reported receiving more total funding in 2018 vs. 2017, but 59% reported that their expenses were higher than in the previous year.
  • 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; making program adjustments; and launching new collaborative efforts.

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

  •  Financial uncertainty (53%)
  • Need for better branding/communications (48%)
  • Need for stronger board of trustees (46%)
  • Inability to afford enough good staff (34%)
  • Increased benefits/insurance costs (33%)
  • Low organization visibility (29%)
  • Need for strategic planning (28%)
  • Increased demand for program services (25%)

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

  • Non-profit infrastructure/capacity building (64%)
  • Foundation/corporate funding (48%)
  • Attracting/retaining capable, committed board members (46%)
  • Attracting/retaining qualified workers (39%)
  • State fiscal policy/state budget (38%)
  • Giving and volunteering incentives (37%)
  • Federal funding/federal budget (29%)
  • Non-profit advocacy/lobbying rights (28%)
  • Diversity/inclusion/equity within non-profits (24%)

Source: Center for Non-Profits, New Jersey Non-Profits 2019: Trends and Outlook

Non-Profit Values

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

Non-profits enhance our daily lives by:

  • assisting New Jersey’s most vulnerable people;
  • training our workforce;
  • engaging us in civic discourse;
  • educating and mentoring children and adults alike;
  • treating and curing illness and disease.
  • providing stewardship to our environment;
  • encouraging thoughtful dialogue and creativity through public television and radio;
  • offering creative inspiration and cultural enrichment;
  • providing an outlet for generosity through volunteerism and donations;
  • conducting research to foster informed decisionmaking
  • providing spiritual fulfillment
  • 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 more than 34,000 501(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 $42 billion annually, most of it in the Garden State.  New Jersey non-profits employ more than 324,000 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.