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Indiana Nonprofit Employment:
Trends in Membership and Related Organizations, 1995-2011

Nonprofit Employment Report #10
April 2014
Kirsten A. Grønbjerg, Project Director
and Deb Seltzer

A Joint Product of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies

Click to read the press release for this study, a short summary or the full report. Note: the full report is a relatively large file (5 MB) and you will need a free copy of Adobe Reader to read these documents.

Introduction

Nonprofit organizations make significant contributions to the quality of life for the residents of Indiana by offering opportunities for civic engagement, health care, access to arts and culture, social assistance, and education. They are also a major force in the state’s economy and in the economic health of all regions of the state. 

This report presents new information on the size, composition, and distribution of paid nonprofit employment in Indiana’s membership and related organizations. The tenth report in a series of statewide employment analyses, it focuses on trends in nonprofit membership employment from 1995 through 2011. Data over this time period give us insights into how recessions and economic growth periods impact private nonprofit employment in this industry.

Key Findings

Our report provides detailed analysis of major changes in nonprofit employment and wages in membership and related organizations from 1995 through 2011. Our analysis also includes trends in membership industry groups: civic and social organizations; business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations; grantmaking and giving services; social advocacy organizations; and religious organizations.

Major Findings 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. This represents an average of 26,800 workers over the time period. Membership employment grew 8 percent from 1995 to 2011, from 24,500 to 26,500. Of the major nonprofit industries in Indiana, membership and related organizations were the third-largest in terms of employment, second only to health care and education.
  • Membership and related organizations made up the greatest segment (43 percent) of nonprofit establishments in Indiana from 1995 to 2011 with an average of 2,630. The number of membership and related organizations grew by less than half of a percent (10 establishments) over the time period and averaged only 10 employees, the smallest establishment size of all major nonprofit industries.
  • Payroll in membership and related organizations averaged $591 million from 1995 through 2011 and grew 32 percent over the time period. Membership and related organizations accounted for an average of 8 percent of all nonprofit payroll in Indiana over the time period.
  • From 1995 through 2011, wages in membership and related organizations averaged $22,000. Of the major nonprofit industries, these wages were the second lowest, surpassing only those in social assistance and about equivalent to wages in arts, entertainment, and recreation. Low wages in membership organizations may reflect a high number of part-time staff, as many organizations in this industry are largely volunteer-driven.

Major Findings in Membership and Related Organizations Industry Groups

  • Measured in terms of employment, civic and social organizations is the largest industry group with an average of 13,800 employees between 1995 and 2011. Business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations was the next largest industry group with an average of 8,500 employees. These groups each had more employees on average over the time period than the remaining three industry groups combined.
  • Business, professional, labor, political and similar organizations was the largest industry group in terms of number of establishments, averaging 1,160. Civic and social organizations averaged 1,070 establishments, while the other three industry groups all averaged between 130 and 140. All industry groups averaged fewer than 15 employees per establishment over the time period.
  • Business, professional, labor, political and similar organizations had the largest payroll of any industry group, averaging $247 million from 1995 through 2011. Civic and social organizations ranked second, averaging $202 million in payroll, while all other industry groups averaged less than $100 million in payroll each.
  • Grantmaking and giving services had the highest average annual wages over the time period at $42,500. These wages were more than $13,000 higher than in the next highest-paying industry group of business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations, which offered average wages of $29,300. 
  • In terms of employment, civic and social organizations was the only industry group with a relatively even split between known charities and other nonprofits. Employment in grantmaking and giving services and social advocacy organizations were mostly found in known charities, while business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations were dominated by employees in other nonprofits. 

Methodology

The report draws on data generated by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development through surveys of Indiana workplaces carried out under the national Quarterly Covered Employment and Wages (QCEW) labor market information program administered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of the unemployment insurance program. These data, compiled from quarterly reports submitted by employers in compliance with U.S. and Indiana law, were prepared for us by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business under a confidentiality agreement with the state.

For information about the methodology used in this report and for additional tables, please see the Appendices at the bottom of this page. Reports on nonprofit employment for other states are available at Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Appendices

Our report includes several appendices with supplementary information. They include:

  • Appendix A: The QCEW Unemployment Insurance Labor Market Information Program - Sources of data, scope of coverage, and data processing and cleaning
  • Appendix B: Data Tables - Nonprofit employment, payroll, and wages in membership and related organizations and industry groups
  • Appendix C: Project Publications and Reports

Acknowledgements

This report was prepared as part of an ongoing project from the Indiana Nonprofits: Scope and Community Dimensions project made possible by the Efroymson Fund at the Indianapolis Foundation (an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation) through its support for the Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy; the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy through its Indiana Research Fund (supported in part by Lilly Endowment Inc.) and its ongoing support for the Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy; and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University through its ongoing support for the Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy.

We are grateful to Carol O. Rogers, Victoria Nelson, and Jerry Conover at the Indiana Business Research Center for making the data on which this report is based available to us and for very helpful comments on the draft. We thank Kerry S. Brock for her help in preparing the basic framework for our analysis, as well as Alexandra Toledo, Kellie McGiverin-Bohan, Lauren Dula, Rachel L. Miller and Angela Gallagher who assisted in arranging the original data and providing comments and suggestions on the draft. We greatly appreciate very helpful comments and suggestions from our Indiana University colleague Matt Baggetta. Finally, we thank members of the Advisory Board for the Indiana Nonprofit Sector: Scope and Community Dimensions project for helpful comments and suggestions.