Membership and Related Organizations

Nonprofit Employment in Membership and Related Organizations

"Membership and related organizations employed an average of 12 percent of all nonprofit employees in Indiana from 1995 through 2011"

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Report Summary

The Great Recession and subsequent recovery appear to have taken a heavy  toll on nonprofit organizations that rely on members for voluntary and financial support.

Nonprofit membership organizations in Indiana lost more than 1,000 employees and over $15.6 million (adjusted for inflation) in payroll from 2007 to 2011. Those organizations include trade unions, political groups, business associations, and fundraising organizations. Researchers point out membership organizations may face special challenges in attracting participants and donors as compared to other nonprofit industries, such as health and education, which are considered necessities even during recessions.

Prior to the Great Recession, membership organizations did see growth. From 1995 to 2011, nonprofit membership employment grew 8 percent and inflation-adjusted payroll grew 32 percent. Membership organizations employed an average of 12 percent of all Indiana nonprofit employees and paid an average of 8 percent of all Indiana nonprofit payroll over the time period.