Skip to main content

Bark’s Bytes #26 | Sustaining the Good

On November 14, GiveMN will host its fifth Give to The Max Day (GTMD) event. Merrick, Inc., will again participate with a goal of highlighting and funding our partnership with Dodge Nature Center, another local nonprofit. Before giving you all the details on our 2013 GTMD plans, I want to step back and take a bigger look at the nonprofit sector in Minnesota. Using information from the “2013 Minnesota Nonprofit Economy Update” provided by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, I found the following results to be most interesting:

• In 2012, there were fewer than 3,600 nonprofit employers in the state, which is slightly down from previous years.

• Nonprofits employed 304,236 people in 2012 and, primarily due to adding locations, experienced a growth of 9% since 2007 whereas the for-profit sector had a 3% loss of employment during the same period.

• Of the 2,644,909 employees counted in this report, 75% were in for-profits, 14% in government, and 11% in nonprofits.

• After removing hospitals (33% of nonprofit employees) and higher education (5% of nonprofit employees) from the total count, weekly nonprofit wages trailed the government sector by 5% and the for-profit sector by 11%. Average weekly wages in the nonprofit sector are highest in the healthcare industry and the lowest for vocational rehabilitation, childcare providers, and civic organizations.

Another report from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is their “Nonprofit Current Conditions Report”. It is based on a survey sent to 2,000 nonprofits that was completed by 436 organizations throughout Minnesota and offers a real-time analysis of changes that nonprofits have experienced in 2010. Some of the more interesting changes I noted include:

• Seventy-four percent of nonprofits reported an increase in service demands compared to 42% and 60% in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

• More than 7 out of 10 nonprofits reported they were able to increases services to meet demand, up slightly from 2009.

• Demand for mental health services had the highest spike with an increase of 92% from 2009.

• The percent of nonprofits reporting a decline in total revenue in 2008, 2009, and 2010 was 55%, 61% and 37% respectively.

• In out-state, 62% of nonprofits in South Central/Southwest and 50% of nonprofits in Southeast Minnesota reported a decline in total revenue whereas only 29% of nonprofits in Central and Northern Minnesota reported a decline in total revenue.

• In general, nonprofits have access to three main sources of revenue: individual contributions; earned income, and grants from private foundations and corporate giving programs. Coming out of the recession, in 2010 only 31% of nonprofits reported an increase in individual contributions and 26% reported an increase in foundations and corporate giving. It appears that giving from private foundations and corporate programs continues to decline at a higher percentage than individual contributions.

There are two points I want the reader to take away from this editorial.

1. Nonprofits are a vital economic sector providing at least 11% of all employment in Minnesota; and

2. Giving from private foundations and corporate programs is going down so the need for contributions from individual supporters is critical to sustaining the good works of the state’s nonprofits.

This is where your support can make a difference by participating in our GTMD campaign. The focus this year is on our partnership with fellow nonprofit Dodge Nature Center (DNC) that employs a crew from Merrick. Referred to as the “A Team”, this crew has formed genuine relationships with DNC staff and demonstrates to visitors, many of whom are schoolchildren, that they have “real jobs” and are contributing members of society. Please take a moment to read more about the partnership and, as an individual, help us activate our two generous matching grants from Kowalski’s Markets and Wolf Motors for this year’s GTMD by visiting: