Minor Industries

Indiana Employment in “Minor” Nonprofit Industries

"Nonprofits in nontraditional industries gained more in jobs and payroll than their for-profit counterparts and more traditional nonprofits"

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Report Summary

This report demonstrates the complexity of Indiana's nonprofit sector. While most nonprofits are familiar charities like hospitals, social service agencies, and cultural institutions, nonprofits operate in all but one of the 20 industries defined by the North American Industry Classification System -- including finance, construction, utilities, and information.

Examples include thrift shops in retail trade, protected workshops for people with disabilities in manufacturing, senior nutrition sites in accommodation and food services, and cooperatives in utilities, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting.

While there is much diversity among nonprofit industries, and while nonprofits operating in nontraditional industries are easily overlooked, they have shown remarkable growth and in many cases have gained market share over their for-profit counterparts. The analysis demonstrates that nonprofits operate and thrive in a wide variety of industries and in forms other than the traditional 501(c)(3) charity organization with which the general public is most familiar.

Nonprofit employees are particularly prevalent in five minor industries selected for more detailed analysis: finance and insurance; information; management of companies and enterprises; professional, scientific, and technical services; and utilities.

These five selected minor nonprofit industries account for about two-thirds of nonprofit employment in all minor industries combined and, as a group, out-performed their for-profit counterparts in the same industries. Indeed, total nonprofit employment in these five industries grew 29 percent, nonprofit payroll grew 74 percent, and average nonprofit wages grew 35 percent (all adjusted for inflation) from 1995 to 2011.