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New Report Shows Maine’s Nonprofits are Still Significant Economic Contributors

by Brenda Peluso

Nonprofits ma100%Snippettter. Scratch the surface of why people love Maine and you’ll find a strong network of nonprofit organizations delivering on their mission. Maine’s nonprofits protect the environment, care for our most vulnerable citizens, support arts and culture, educate our children, develop community leaders, and sustain our spirit, all while also investing significant financial and human resources in communities throughout the state.

As our new report, Partners in Prosperity: The Maine Nonprofit Sector Impact, shows, Maine’s nonprofit community is one of the most robust and vibrant in the country. Not only do nonprofits play a significant role in the state’s reputation as a great place to live and raise a family, nonprofits also:

  • provide quality jobs for 1 in 7 Maine workers;
  • contribute over 18% to our state’s gross product through taxable wages paid, wholesale & retail purchases, and services contracted;
  • mobilize almost 350,000 volunteers annually;
  • have a significant presence in every county and community in Maine, often serving as economic anchors for small rural communities they were created to serve.

Partners in Prosperity: The Maine Nonprofit Sector Impact also features return on investment case studies from eight diverse nonprofits from across the state. These case studies provide examples of the many ways nonprofits return exceptional results for the investment we make in them. Some highlights include:

  • Every dollar spent by one Maine nonprofit to provide quality early childhood care is estimated to create long-term economic benefits of $16 in increased earnings, reduced crime, and lower costs for special education and welfare programs.
  • Spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations in one Maine city totaled $26.5 million in 2010, attracting audiences who added an additional $22.6 million in event related spending, all of which employs artists, creates other jobs in related industries, and generates revenue for local and state governments.
  • At a cost of $308 per student, one nonprofit helps to lift low literacy levels which annual cost the US $225 billion in lost productivity and tax revenue due to unemployment and under employment.

This report demonstrates that nonprofits play a critical role in ensuring prosperous communities with strong social fabric. When nonprofits partner with government, business and engaged individuals in pursuit of a common goal, everyone profits.

We encourage nonprofit and civic leaders to download a copy and learn more about an often overlooked part of Maine’s economic engine: the nonprofit sector.

Thank you to our report sponsor & funders:

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