Report Shows Impact of Nonprofits on Economy

The city of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County office of community development released a 16-page report on Tuesday, May 31, that attempts to quantify the economic impact of the 37 local nonprofits that are funded by the county and city. In 2011, the combined investments from the city and county in those nonprofits totaled $2.7 million. According to the report, those funds leveraged more than $34 million in non-local revenue.[.pdf of nonprofit investment report]

The report highlights six “return on investment” categories: (1) stabilizing the workforce and community by providing services like childcare, food and affordable housing; (2) leveraging millions of dollars in additional funding; (3) providing jobs – if combined, human services nonprofits funded by the city and county would employ over 855 people, representing the county’s fifth-largest employer, according to the report; (4) supporting for-profit businesses directly through the purchase of goods and services, and indirectly from spending by employees; (5) tallying 365,000 hours of volunteer time in 2011, or the equivalent of $7.8 million in wages; and (6) enhancing the social safety-net services of local government.

This is the second report on the economic impact of local nonprofits – the first one was released in 2009. It’s delivered in the context of budget approvals being sought this week from both the Ann Arbor city council and the Washtenaw County board of commissioners, for funding through 2013. [See Chronicle coverage: "Nonprofits lobby for human services support" and "Budget issues – human services, fire protection – loom"]