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Foraker Releases Report Documenting Economic Impact of Alaska’s Nonprofit Sector


This is the fourth report on the sector’s impact that Foraker has published.

Image courtesy of the Foraker Group

Anchorage, AK, February 12, 2018 – A report released by The Foraker Group reinforces earlier studies which found that Alaska’s nonprofit sector is a major driver in the state’s economy. Foraker’s research shows that the sector directly employs more than 44,000 people with a payroll of $2.68 billion and generates close to $7 billion in revenue.

“Alaska’s nonprofit sector represents a wide variety of organizations that provide public service and have an impact on the lives of nearly everyone living in the state,” Foraker President/CEO Laurie Wolf said in an opening to the report. “Although most Alaskans do not think of nonprofits as an economic powerhouse, they play a critical role in the state’s economy both as major employers and as revenue generators.”

This is the fourth report on the sector’s impact that Foraker has published. The most recent research also found that:

  • Nonprofits make up 17% of all employment in Alaska, compared to the national average of 10%. Counting indirect and induced effects, nonprofits were responsible for sustaining 66,700 jobs in the state, which represents over a quarter of the non-government employment in the state. If nonprofits were treated as their own industry, they would be the second largest source of non-government employment behind oil and gas in Alaska.
  • Nonprofits are the largest source of employment in many rural communities. In three rural census areas in Western Alaska, nonprofits make up over 40% of all direct employment.
  • The number of nonprofits in Alaska has dropped. The state now has 5,765 registered nonprofits, including charitable organizations, religious communities, and other entities like business and civic organizations, electric cooperatives, and professional associations. One nonprofit existed for every 130 Alaskans in 2016, compared to one for every 100 residents in 2010.

Nonprofits also contribute to Alaska’s economy by playing critical roles within the state’s major industries. From associations engaging in the policy-making process, to economic development agencies promoting job opportunities, nonprofits contribute to the vitality of commercial enterprises. For the business community, nonprofits are often a vehicle for collaboration to improve the business climate or pursue shared objectives like visitor marketing.

According to Wolf, this year’s report is directed to Alaska policy makers. She points out that nonprofits are Alaska’s safety net for many critical community services.

“When our leaders make financial decisions, create policies, or develop programs, we urge them to remember that every dollar cut from the nonprofit sector will result in higher costs in the long run,” Wolf said. “Each decision will have an impact on the sector and on the wellbeing of every Alaskan.”

The report calls on Alaska policy makers to:

  • Use the data in the report to better understand the economic impact of Alaska nonprofits as they develop public policy
  • Engage with nonprofit leaders in finding solutions to common challenges
  • Stabilize the state’s safety net by leveraging and collaborating to maximize resources
  • Enact a stable, long-term fiscal plan

The Foraker Group gathers data and analyzes the impact of the nonprofit sector every three years. The sources for the report include the IRS, State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Charitable Statistics, Institute of Social and Economic Research, and the UAA Center for Economic Development.

The complete report is available at http://www.forakergroup.org/index.php/sector-voice/conducting-research/alaskas-nonprofit-sector-generating-economic-impact-january-2018/


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