The non-profit sector proved to be a generous employer in the past decade, but has proven to be ill-equipped in general to manage its finances.
New data from social and economic policy research firm Urban Institute revealed that non-profits paid $634 billion in wages in 2013, which is a 49% jump over the $425 billion in salaries paid in 2003. Specifically for hospitals, wages ballooned to $313 billion in 2013 from $196 billion in 2003, the largest absolute growth in any industry, data showed.
Further, in 2013, 57% of all non-profit salaries were paid by health care and social assistance entities.
“The growth in the non-profit sector can be largely credited to the health care and social assistance industry, which includes hospitals, mental health centers, crisis hotlines, blood banks, soup kitchens, senior centers, and similar organizations,” according to The Non-profit Almanac, 2016: The Essential Facts and Figures for Managers, Researchers, and Volunteer.
“One of the big trends throughout the almanac was that the size and growth of the sector was robust even during the recession,” explained Brice McKeever, research associate at The Urban Institute.
According to the institute, charities were the only sector that saw positive growth for every year since 2000.
However, these organizations still bore the ill effects of the recession despite increases in revenue and outlay from 2004 to 2014. “A more concerning issue for the sector, though, is a gap” between income and expense, the report said.
According to the Urban Institute, non-profits have been in the red by 4% to 8% of their total revenue since 2008, with the sector possibly falling back on savings or credit lines to sustain operations.
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