For Immediate Release

Contact: Selma Tucker, Director of Marketing and Communications
Public Sector Consultants
(517) 484-4954

LANSING, Mich.—A detailed analysis by Public Sector Consultants (PSC), a Lansing-based public policy research firm, has found that nonprofits in Michigan employ more than 10 percent of the state’s workforce, pay about $5 billion every three months in wages to their employees, and serve as anchor institutions in communities large and small.

The 2014 analysis is the latest update in a series from PSC dating back to the mid-1990s and shows the nonprofit sector came through the Great Recession without the job losses and dislocation seen in other sectors. In fact, the nonprofit sector now employs about the same number of people as durable goods manufacturing, which includes the auto industry.

“Each day, nonprofits provide critical services and support in health care, education, social services, cultural enhancements, and community building,” said Rob Collier, president and CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations, one of the sponsors of the PSC study. “And, as PSC shows, in doing this work these organizations employ tens of thousands of your friends and neighbors and greatly boost our state’s economy and quality of life.”

Key points drawn from the PSC research (for the full report and data by region and county, go to

  • The nonprofit sector employs more than 438,000 people, or almost 11 percent of the state’s workforce.
  • Nonprofits pay almost $5 billion in wages every three months.
  • Health services are the largest source of employment in the nonprofit sector, accounting for approximately half the jobs and two-thirds of the wages.
  • Michigan public charities, a subset of the nonprofit sector, spent $44 billion on charitable endeavors in Michigan in 2011. Health care is the largest component of public charities, but private colleges and art and cultural institutions are also important components.
  • There are more than 42,000 nonprofits in Michigan.
  • Overall, nonprofits spend more than $80 billion each year, making a significant direct contribution to Michigan’s economy.

“Each time we do this analysis, I am impressed at the depth and breadth of nonprofits’ effects on our community,” said Jeff Williams, CEO of PSC. “In strict economic terms, they invest billions, pay billions, and employ thousands, but their service roles are far more varied and important.”

“This report helps us inform policymakers and citizens on the great work nonprofits are doing—and can do—for the people of this state,” said Donna Murray-Brown, president & CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, which also sponsored the report. “PSC pulls together the facts and then organizes them in a format that is easy to share with our stakeholders. And they provide the entry point for more than 2.2 million Michiganders to volunteer—a value exceeding $5 billion.”

Public Sector Consultants is Michigan’s most respected, connected, and dedicated research and program management firm, with specialties in governance and regulation, health care, education, energy, and environmental policy. PSC is committed to providing objective research and sound solutions to the public and private sector. 

The Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) is a statewide association of grantmakers committed to growing the impact of Michigan philanthropy by creating innovative solutions, sharing knowledge, collaborating on critical issues, convening business, government and nonprofit leaders and investing in the state’s charitable organizations. The Council of Michigan Foundations’ membership includes family, corporate, independent, public, and community foundations representing 80% of the organized philanthropic assets in the state of Michigan.

Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) is a statewide membership organization dedicated to serving the diverse nonprofit sector through civic engagement, capacity-building, data and technology, training, and advocacy. MNA manages multiple programs and affiliates including  Data Driven Detroit, The LEAGUE Michigan,  Michigan Campus Compact and Volunteer Centers of Michigan, and AmeriCorps and VISTA.