Nonprofit Research

MANP conducts and compiles research on the nonprofit sector to help organizations and individuals better understand the vital role nonprofits play in Maine’s quality of life, and stay aware of trends and issues facing mission-driven organizations.


Find research on the impacts of COVID-19 on the nonprofit sector here.

Nonprofit Impact Matters

America’s 1.3 million charitable nonprofits enrich the lives of everyone, in ways both seen and unseen. Nonprofit Impact Matters, a project of the National Council of Nonprofits, pulls back the curtain and tells the story of nonprofits from their perspective. It also provides practical insights and key national- and state-level data.

Adding Up Impact: Maine Nonprofits at Work

MANP’s economic impact studies report show through stories and data how nonprofits provide a great return on the investment we make in them. Nonprofits are major employers and significant contributors to the economy. The stories demonstrate how organizations work every day to improve the quality of our lives at a cost that is hard to beat.

Nonprofit Compensation

Every other year MANP surveys Maine nonprofits and produces a report on nonprofit wages and benefits as a resource for organizations to reference when setting compensation. Member organizations that participate in the survey receive the resulting report for free. Non-participating members and participating non-members receive great discounts.

Nonprofit Economic Data Project

The Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Economic Data Project (NED) analyzes diverse datasets on nonprofit organizations, including data on nonprofit finances, employment and wages, and volunteering.

Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector

At a time when the sector is both more critical and more vulnerable than in recent memory, it is essential that communities and their leaders understand the current health of the nonprofit sector.

Fundraising Effectiveness Project

The Association of Fundraising Professionals’ annual Fundraising Effectiveness Survey collects fundraising data from nonprofit organizations and enables groups to measure and compare their fundraising gain and loss ratios to those of similar organizations.

Giving USA

This annual report outlines key trends in American Philanthropy. The full report requires purchase, but readers can download highlights for free, and free analysis of this report  is common.

How America Gives

A period study conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy to examine giving data by ZIP code and income level across the U.S. Interactive maps allow users to explore local data.

IRS Data on Nonprofits

The IRS’s Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract (EO BMF) is a downloadable data set of all tax-exempt organizations in the United States. The data are extracted monthly and are available by state and region. The IRS also makes available an Annual Extract of Tax-Exempt Organization Financial Data.These extracts contain selected financial data from filers of three Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information returns — Forms 990, 990-EZ and 990-PF.

Leadership New England

This 2015 report profiles New England’s nonprofits and their leaders and recommends three shifts that will help the sector become more sustainable and healthier.

Leading with Intent

A national index of nonprofit board practices produced by BoardSource.

New England’s Creative Economy: Nonprofit Sector Impact (2011)

This report by the New England Foundation for the Arts outlines the many ways nonprofit organizations throughout New England are impacting local and state economies and quality of life.

Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Public Charities, Giving + Volunteering

This annual brief from the Urban Institute highlights trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities as well as key findings on private charitable contributions and volunteering.

Nonprofit Works

Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies’ Nonprofit Economic Data project (NED) created Nonprofit Works, an interactive database on the U.S. nonprofit economy, to provide users access to U.S. nonprofit employment, establishment, and wage data on the national, state, county, and industry levels. The site also places the data into context by comparing nonprofits to their counterparts in other sectors, as well as assessing the demand for the services provided by the nonprofit sector by looking at corresponding population and income data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources.

Partnering for Impact: Government-Nonprofit Contracting Reform Task Forces Produce Results for Taxpayers

This 2013 report from the National Council of Nonprofits reviews the creation, recommendations, and implementation activities of joint government-nonprofit contracting reform task forces in nine states to identify trends and insights that can be applied elsewhere.

Race to Lead

The nonprofit sector is experiencing a racial leadership gap. To find out more, the Building Movement Project conducted the “Race to Lead Survey” in 2016 and again in 2019. Over 4,000 respondents answered questions about their current nonprofit job, interest in leading a nonprofit, training/supports, views of leadership, and personal background. They were also asked about their views on race and the nonprofit sector. The compares responses from those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) with white respondents’ background, aspirations to be leaders, training, and attitudes towards leadership.

The State of Nonprofit Governance

This report from the Urban Institute provides a snapshot of nonprofit governance policies and practices among operating public charities.

State of the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit Finance Fund conducts a periodic state of the Sector survey designed to capture nonprofits’ trends, challenges, and actions across a broad mix of programmatic, financial, and operational indicators.

Volunteering + Civic Life in America

This annual report, sponsored by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, analyzes volunteering and civic life in the 50 states and 51 cities across the country. Data includes volunteer rates and rankings, civic engagement trends, and analysis.

Data Sources for Nonprofits

Data Innovation Project’s Data Scan compiles data sources that are reputable, relevant to the work of organizations in Maine, accessible, and free. You can search by overarching category (Communities & People, Health, Education, and Economy) or use keywords to search. Different filtering options allow you to search by level of data, which will show you the smallest level of data available from that source (e.g., county level), year, or format (e.g., pdf or Excel). You have the option of downloading or printing what you find in the scan.