How Nonprofits Can Create Economic Impact

Nonprofits make the world a better place and are vital parts of our communities. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the United States. This means that a lot of work is being done and a lot of money is being generated by public charities and private foundations like yours.

When it comes to your organization, people may focus on the “not for profit” part, but it’s important to note that nonprofits play an important role in the national and global economy. In fact, The Council of Nonprofits said, “While it’s easy to see how nonprofits directly improve the lives of individuals, their positive contributions to the U.S. economy are often overlooked. A closer review reveals nonprofit organizations have a very significant, far-reaching impact on the American economy. Nonprofits enhance and bolster local, state, and national economies in multiple ways.”

Here are some ways that your nonprofit organization can help create an economic impact and/or strengthen your community.

Create Jobs & Support the Local Economy

If you’re a nonprofit organization, you know that it takes a village to run it. You likely have a staff of people who help with everything from management to day-to-day logistics and operations.

According to an article published by The Council of Nonprofits, nonprofit organizations employ 12.3 million people ― that’s 10 percent of the national workforce.

These jobs are important to the people who hold these positions, the success of your organization as a whole, and to the greater community in which you serve. When you have a nonprofit, you’re not just giving back to those you serve, you’re also creating jobs for people and contributing to the local economy.

Even if someone doesn’t work directly for a nonprofit, they could be benefiting financially or job wise from the work that nonprofits do. For example, many nonprofits provide job training and placement services for the under and unemployed, child or elderly care for family members who need to work outside the home, food services, and more.

As a nonprofit it is important to promote your job posts and services via social media, job posting sites like LinkedIn, and via word of mouth so that people in the community know what is available to them. Your board of directors can also be helpful in marketing your jobs and services to other community stakeholders.

Additionally, developing a good relationship with your board of directors (who are often in charge of obtaining grant funding) can help you get more funding to create jobs and services, especially in low-income regions and counties who are eager to support these efforts.

A nonprofit’s job is to serve the communities in which it operates and in doing so, they can help people gain or maintain employment or advance their careers through job creation and support.

Generate Economic Activity in the Community

Nonprofits can also have a broad impact on economic activity and jobs throughout the community by their involvement and participation in local events, sponsorships, benefits, and more. Whether through arts programming, higher education, entertainment, or retail, nonprofits can help spur local economic development.

For example, as a nonprofit, if you sponsor an event like a concert, you are encouraging people to pay for the concert tickets, but chances are attendees will also pay for parking or transportation too. Attendees may even buy a new outfit for the evening, go out to dinner beforehand, and extend their night out on the town afterward at a local bar. All of this is a ripple effect from the initial ticket purchase (and support of a nonprofit) that generates economic activity.

Doing things like hosting a benefit concert or sponsoring a local baseball team is a great way to support other organizations in your community, raise money for your nonprofit, and generate awareness of your organization. Chances are people have enjoyed something tied to a nonprofit without even realizing it, from art gallery showings to sporting events at nonprofit colleges and more.

Additionally, a nonprofit is just like any other business when it comes to operational costs ― it must consume goods and services to remain fully functional and thus, puts money back into the community it serves. That’s why as a nonprofit, it’s recommended that you hire local businesses if possible for the services that you need so that you can pay it forward to other local organizations.

For more information about our services or for how your nonprofit can create a larger economic impact, visit our contact us page or email us at

Published by The Empowerment Center LLC

We are a business empowerment consulting firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. We provide economic empowerment services to nonprofit and public sector businesses to include grant writing, development and consulting.

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