Reports Released on Benefits of Nonprofits to U.S. Communities
March 3, 2010, Washington, PRNewswire-USNewswire — Americans received extraordinary benefits from the policy advocacy and community organizing efforts by nonprofit organizations in their area, funded by foundations and other donors, according to a series of reports by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (http://www.ncrp.org).
Research on nearly 70 nonprofits from New Mexico, North Carolina, Minnesota and Los Angeles County over a five year period showed that these groups combined generated nearly $14 billion worth of benefits for their diverse communities, and many other non-monetary gains. The return for every dollar invested in these groups ranged from $89 to a staggering $157.
The latest study on 15 Los Angeles County nonprofit organizations found that from 2004-08, area groups generated nearly $7 billion in benefits for local citizens, including $2.6 billion in higher wages, $2.2 billion in health care savings and more than $2 billion from increased use of public transit, construction of new schools and expanded affordable housing. These benefits were the direct result of community involvement in public policy.
"While high profile commentators decry 'community organizing,' this report clearly demonstrates that such activity delivers enormous benefits to communities. On every issue of concern to residents of Los Angeles County, from clean air to immigration, from equality to education, foundation support for community-based activist organizations yields positive results," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. "Foundation support turns indifference into democracy and the benefits of a thriving democracy are indeed substantial."
Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing and Civic Engagement in Los Angeles County, issued by NCRP, charts a dramatic, substantial return on investments in policy engagement. For every dollar foundations and other donors provided to community organizations engaged in advocacy and organizing, the funded groups realized $91 in benefits to the communities they serve.