Melissa Gibson, senior consultant

Like Michigan, Florida is well known for its thriving tourism industry. But did you know that its nonprofit sector also plays a prominent role in the state’s economy? PSC’s Melissa Gibson confirmed that fact for the Florida Nonprofit Alliance when she and her project team completed an analysis examining the size and contribution of charitable and noncharitable nonprofits in the Sunshine State.

Map cross-section of Tallahassee, Florida

While the economic analysis pretty much followed standard industry practices, the reporting of the results did not. That’s because the last thing the alliance wanted was a 100-page, data heavy, written report. Instead, they asked for several interactive products that were engaging, visually interesting and easy to share.

Florida infographic

And that’s exactly what we did. Drawing on Gibson’s experience with data visualization and our design team’s expertise in presenting big numbers in clear and simple ways, PSC provided the alliance with four discrete pieces: (1) an interactive, Web-based dashboard that provides nonprofit and employment data broken down by social function for the state, its regions and its counties; (2) an infographic showing statewide impact related to employment, wages, revenue and total number of nonprofits; (3) a series of one-pagers showing nonprofit impact by state Senate district and (4) a seven-page summary that compares nonprofits’ contributions to those of other industries in Florida.

A Few Interesting Observations:

1.

Florida’s more than 83,000 nonprofits directly employ 530,000 people, provide an annual payroll of $26.6 billion and generate nearly $90 billion in annual revenue. In terms of employment size, the nonprofit sector is comparable to the state’s construction and manufacturing sectors.

2.

The alliance has already asked PSC to do some additional work. While the original study provided comprehensive numbers for three different kinds of nonprofits — noncharitable organizations, charitable private foundations and public charities — the alliance also wanted data just for 501(c)(3)s, which required us to adjust the interactive dashboard to allow for the combination of the latter two groups.

3.

Gibson loves doing this type of work. “Although it requires a lot of effort to crunch the data, clean it, check it and re-check it, it’s actually fun. We end up providing solid impact estimates to our clients, delivering them in nice, usable packages and doing it all in an economically feasible way. That, in turn, allows our clients to get their information into policymakers’ hands in a timely fashion so they can use it to make informed decisions.”

4.

This project is similar to work PSC has done for the Michigan Nonprofit Association. In fact, it was our study here that led the Florida Nonprofit Alliance seek our assistance.

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