Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett joined this morning with Montgomery County Councilmembers George Leventhal and Nancy Floreen, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development Director Steve Silverman and more than 100 other local government, academic, private, and nonprofit sector representatives to release a new report, Beyond Charity: Nonprofit Business in Montgomery County. Among other findings, the report shows that 10 percent of the County’s workforce is employed by nonprofits, with total wages of $2.2 billion.
“This report validates the significant economic contributions of the County’s nonprofit sector,” said Leggett. “Nonprofit organizations deliver both valuable, community-based services to local residents as they also bolster the economic prosperity of our County, to the tune of $2.2 billion in wages.”
The new report shines a spotlight on the economic impact of nonprofits in Montgomery County, Maryland, bringing together current data on the County’s nonprofit sector, national research, and numerous examples of how nonprofits across the County generate economic impact.
“Although leaders in government and business may intuitively understand the value of the nonprofit community, this new report compellingly quantifies the return on investment that nonprofit businesses provide,” said Chuck Bean, executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “This cutting-edge examination of the business of doing good in Montgomery County is the new model – now it's time to do this analysis in every jurisdiction in our region.”
The report looks at nonprofits from several economic vantage points, starting with the fact that nonprofit businesses, like their for-profit counterparts, are employers and purchasers of goods and services.
Supporting data include:
• Montgomery County’s 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits paid $2.2 billion to 43,371 employees in 2011 and have nearly $4 billion in combined purchasing power.
• Nonprofits employ one in 10 workers in the County.
• Nonprofit employment in the county grew 9.1 percent between 2007 and 2011, while overall employment in the county decreased by 2.5 percent.
The report was funded by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, along with the Department of Health and Human Services.
“The nonprofit sector is a significant and stable source of good jobs, and this report is a reminder that we should strive to attract and retain nonprofit businesses of all types and sizes, just as we do with for-profit businesses,” said Silverman. “The report also highlights the essential role nonprofits play in helping develop a strong, capable workforce in order to meet the evolving needs of Montgomery County employers.”
The report also illustrates why it makes economic sense for government to partner with nonprofits to deliver many types of services. In FY12, Montgomery County had almost 500 contracts with nonprofits valued at nearly $97 million.
“Because of their charitable status, 501(c)(3) nonprofits are uniquely positioned to make every dollar go further,” said Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services director Uma Ahluwalia. “This report offers a compelling selection of real-world examples that exemplify this ability, showing how nonprofits leverage funding streams and donated resources worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and sometimes even millions of dollars.”
This morning’s event brought together more than 125 leaders from government, education, private industry and nonprofit businesses at Discovery Communications in Silver Spring with the intent of initiating discussion on how best to use the report’s finding to further support and grow the County’s nonprofit sector.
“This will be the first in a series of cross-sector conversations we will convene to build on the report’s findings and themes,” said Hope Gleicher, director of Nonprofit Montgomery. “We want to explore what nonprofit leaders can do – especially in partnership with our colleagues in private industry, education and government – to contribute more fully to the County’s overall economic health and to develop a broader, more unified strategy to create and fill good jobs.”
Other participants included Terri Freeman, president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region; Bryant Foulger, principal at Foulger-Pratt Companies; and Ilir Zherka, executive director of the National Conference on Citizenship.
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Nonprofit Montgomery is an alliance of nonprofit leaders working to build the strength, influence and visibility of the nonprofit community towards a more just and caring Montgomery County. We believe in working together to solve problems that no organization can solve alone. In 2012, executives of Nonprofit Montgomery’s member groups managed 4,275 employees, 61,840 volunteers, and an aggregate budget of $308.6 million. Nonprofit Montgomery is an affiliate of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. To learn more, visit: www.nonprofitmontgomery.org.
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Contacts: Allison Carney, Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-303-2429
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Kristina Ellis, Montgomery County Dept. of Economic Development, Kristina.email@example.com, 240-793-9568