A Comparison of U.S. and U.K. Nonprofit Sectors

United States

The United States nonprofit sector as has grown over the years. Looking at the National Center For Charitable Statistics, the U.S. has 1,424,918 tax-exempt organizations, including 956,738 public charities, 97,435 private foundations and “370,745 other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.” In 2010 alone, 9.2% of wages and salaries came from nonprofits.

In 2011, public charities made more than “$1.59 trillion in total revenues and $1.49 trillion in total expenses.” Of this revenue, 22% came from contributions, gifts and government grants, 72% came from program services revenues, and 6% came from other sources including rental income, special event income, among others.

Looking at charitable donations, individuals gave $217.79 billion in 2011 and foundations accounted for  $46.9 billion.

United Kingdom

According to NCVO, by 2010 there were 164,000 voluntary organizations in the United Kingdom. At least 2,500 new charities are registered each year and in 2010 4,448 new charities were registered.

54% of voluntary organizations are micro with annual incomes of less than £10,000. 31% of organizations make between £10,000 and  £100,000. These organizations are less likely to employ staff and rather rely on individual donations. Organizations with over £10million annually usually have paid staff and operate nationally and internationally and also branch out locally in some cases.

The voluntary sector employs about 765,000 people which is 2.7% of the UK workforce. Over half of the workforce is employed in health and social work at 57%.