Maryland’s nonprofit sector expands

Maryland nonprofits
Maryland nonprofits

Despite the dreary economy, the nonprofit sector in Maryland is growing, with jobs and nonprofit startups both on the rise, a new study says.

While the state endured a drop in total employment of 3.2 percent in 2009, nonprofit jobs were up 2 percent, says the report from Maryland Nonprofits.

And over the five-year period from 2004 to 2009, nonprofit employment rose 9.5, compared to a decline of 2.1 percent in overall employment in Maryland.

The sector continues to be an economic engine for the state, with more than 250,000 Maryland workers, or 10.6 percent of the workforce, employed by nonprofits in 2009, and their pay accounting for 10 percent of all wages paid in the state.

“This is a remarkable story of nonprofit resilience in the face of the worst economic recession in our lifetimes,” Darryl A. Jones Sr., president and CEO of Maryland Nonprofits, says in a statement. “As the state addresses major shortfalls and the need to create jobs, clearly this report demonstrates how Maryland’s nonprofit sector is a critical part of our economy.”

The recession did not dampen the growth in the number of nonprofits, with more than 1,700 new organizations registering in 2009, an increase of 7 percent.

While more than two-thirds of nonprofits in the state are small, with annual revenues of less than $25,000, organizations with more than $5 million in revenue are the fastest-growing, expanding their ranks by 9 percent in 2009 and 27 percent from 2004 to 2009.

Among nonprofit focus areas, human services was the fastest-growing category from 2004 to 2009, increasing in number by 31 percent, followed by education groups, which grew 26 percent.

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