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  • Amanda Adams

Quick Question: How Many Active Charities Are There?

Let's Count: Active Charities


Have you ever wondered how many active charities there are? What are the biggest charities? What state has the most registered charities? Using publicly available data, the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) set out to answer those questions.

Public Charity Summary Tables is a collection of data sets about public charities. Information for the tables is taken from the IRS Business Master File. In 2015, there were 1.56 million registered charities (“The Nonprofit Sector in Brief | National Center for Charitable Statistics,” 2019). Let's take a look at some interesting numbers about public charities:




Takeaways

Out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, California had the highest percentage of active and reporting public charities in 2015 with 12%. Whereas, Wyoming had the lowest at .27%


The NCCS developed a classification system for nonprofits called the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE). At 6.51% Human Services was the most common type of public charity in 2016. The least common type in 2016 was Education: Higher at .47%.

While the least common type of public charity in 2016 was Education: Higher, it was not the least funded. At the end of 2015, 7 of the organizations listed in the top 10 largest active and reporting public charities were education related. In the top slot, is the President and Fellows of Harvard College sitting pretty at $73.5 billion in total assets.


How do they compare?

Let's compare to other big name charities. Every year, Forbes puts together a list of the largest charities for the year. The main criteria for these charities are the amount of private donations received. In the year 2015, these were the top 10 charities on the Forbes list and their total assets at the end of 2015:








The charity with the greatest amount of total assets at the end of 2015 is St. Jude Children's Hospital with $4.3 billion. Of the charities listed on the Largest Active and Reporting Public Charities by End of Year Assets in 2015 table, the average between the 3 medical charities is $28.3 billion.


Additional Data Collections

The National Center for Charitable Statistics has compiled data sets for more than just public charities. At the time this post was written, the data sets include:

  • Private Foundation Summary Tables

  • Largest Organizations by Subsector

  • Top 10 Lists by Assets

Happy exploring!


Sources

Active and Reporting Public Charities by State | National Center for Charitable Statistics. (2018, August 27). Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://nccs.urban.org/publication/active-and-reporting-public-charities-state

Barrett, W. P. (2016, March 23). The Largest U.S. Charities For 2015. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/williampbarrett/2015/12/09/the-largest-u-s-charities-for-2015/#3ccbf8e247cb

Largest Active and Reporting Other Public Benefit Organizations by Assets | National Center for Charitable Statistics. (2018, September 5). Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://nccs.urban.org/publication/largest-active-and-reporting-other-public-benefit-organizations-assets

Largest Active and Reporting Public Charities by End of Year Assets | National Center for Charitable Statistics. (2018, September 5). Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://nccs.urban.org/publication/largest-active-and-reporting-public-charities-end-year-assets

‌Registered Public Charities by Age | National Center for Charitable Statistics. (2018, August 27). Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://nccs.urban.org/publication/registered-public-charities-age

‌Registered Public Charities by Type | National Center for Charitable Statistics. (2018, August 27). Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://nccs.urban.org/publication/registered-public-charities-type

‌The Nonprofit Sector in Brief | National Center for Charitable Statistics. (2018, August 8). Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://nccs.urban.org/project/nonprofit-sector-brief

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