The Economic Impact of Foundations in America

If the global nonprofit sector were a country, it would have the sixteenth largest economy in the world, according to GDP data compiled by the World Bank. In the United States, the nonprofit sector contributed $878 billion to the economy in 2012, or about 5.4 percent of our nation’s GDP. In addition to the economic activity generated by nonprofits and the dollars nonprofits save governments through their efficient delivery of services, nonprofits are one of the greatest sources of employment throughout the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nonprofit sector employs 11.4 million people or 10.2 percent of the American workforce. (Council of Nonprofits) In 2012, 86,192 active foundations in the U.S. had assets of $715 billion, according to Foundation Center. Some of the nation’s largest foundation awarded almost 154,000 grants totaling $22.4 billion in 2012. The top four focus areas for grants include: Health – 22%, Education – 22%, Human Services – 16%, and Public Affairs/Society Benefit – 12%. All of this economic activity is delivered with the highest level of transparency, disclosure and the strict oversight of the Internal Revenue code assuring the efficient and ethical delivery of vital resources to the American people. To find out more about how FCHS has utilized its resources, visit us at