Scope of the Arizona Nonprofit Sector

Economic contribution

The nonprofit sector is a significant economic force in Arizona. Through expenditures in the form of salaries, wages and supplementary labor income, among others, nonprofits of all kinds contribute directly to the state economy.

Census data shows an Arizona workforce of 3.2 million workers that are paid a total of $166 billion each year. 222,380 survey respondents indicated that they worked in the nonprofit sector, accounting for 6.9 percent of the total workforce. Wages for these workers totaled $12.2 billion, or 7.3 percent of the total. The nonprofit sector’s higher portion of wages (7.3%) compared to employment (6.9%) is an indication that pay in nonprofits is somewhat higher than in the rest of the workforce. Nationally, 8.8 percent of all wages are estimated to be paid to workers in the nonprofit sector.

When the nonprofit sector is treated as an industry unto itself, it ranks as the sixth largest in Arizona, with $12.1 billion in annual wages, 7.3 percent of the state’s total. This places the nonprofit sector ahead of the construction sector (6.7 percent) and behind retail trade, at 8.5 percent of total wages.

Over 89 percent of nonprofit expenditures come from the 704 largest organizations (the 7 percent of organizations with annual expenses over $10 million). Of the Arizona nonprofits that filed a form 990, 990EZ or 990PF in 2022, 65 percent reported annual expenses of less than $500,000. All nonprofit organizations, both big and small, are together part of a growing sector that bolsters the state's economy.

For more information about the contribution nonprofits make to Arizona's economy, visit each of the sections below: