The beginning of a new year often prompts us to set goals for improving ourselves and our communities.

Some people choose to give back by donating time and money toward community needs. Often, volunteers collaborate with nonprofit organizations, which work year round to help communities and individuals. Tax-exempt charitable nonprofits typically provide goods and services, dedicate their operations to improving public services, and collaborate with businesses and government entities to solve local issues. Idaho’s nonprofits also play a role in the state and national economy by employing more than eight percent of the state’s workforce and generating key revenue.


Although revenue varies by the size and type of nonprofit organization, larger nonprofits in Idaho typically earn the majority of revenues in the sector. For instance, in 2013, fewer than 25 percent of Idaho charities reported total annual revenues over $1 million, but those organizations brought in 93 percent of the nonprofit sector’s revenues. Sixty-three percent of Idaho nonprofit organizations reported less than $100,000 in revenue annually. Putting these percentages into perspective, a total of 7,421 nonprofit organizations were registered in Idaho at the end of November 2014. Of these, 1,108 were healthcare and education organizations. Because large-scale healthcare and education nonprofits, such as hospitals and universities, operate largely by charging fees for services, their revenue is much higher than the average nonprofit.  Total revenue reported in 2013 by the other 6,313 nonprofits in Idaho was nearly $1.4 billion. When healthcare and education are included, that number triples—surpassing $5 billion. Revenue from the nonprofit organization sector has a positive economic impact on the state overall.

While nonprofits provide healthcare, education, and other services, Idaho citizens serve their communities by donating valuable time and money. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently ranked Idaho as the seventh most-charitable state. On average, Idahoans donate 6.04 percent of their adjusted gross income. In 2012, Idahoans volunteered an estimated 60 million hours of community service. The value of a volunteer hour in Idaho averages $19.92, so the economic impact of volunteer hours adds up quickly.

As citizens and nonprofit organizations combine forces, communities across the state benefit. Nonprofits positively impact local economies by acting as a channel through which individuals can meaningfully contribute to their communities—they connect givers and receivers. Goods and services make their way to people in need, and residents receive essential healthcare and education. By bringing in donations, generating revenue, and providing employment, Idaho’s nonprofit organizations play a crucial role in the state’s economy. Beyond dollars and percentages, however, both nonprofit organizations and citizen volunteers provide essential services for their local communities.

Idaho & U.S. Economic Notes

JOB REPORT. Idaho’s unemployment rate decreased 0.4 percentage points to 4.1% in October, while the national unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point to 5.8% in October.

HOUSING MARKET. In October, the Idaho CoreLogic® Home Price Index (HPI), which measures home price  appreciation, experienced a year-over-year increase of 1.5%. Nationally, the HPI  increased 6.1% during the same period.

  1. INFLATION. The U.S. Consumer Price Index decreased 0.3% from September to October. The Index saw a year-over-year increase of 1.7%, which is below the Federal Reserve’s target annual inflation pace of 2–3%.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index®  decreased 5.4 points to 88.7 in November.  The Present Situation Index decreased  3.1 points to 91.3, while the Expectations Index decreased 6.8 points to 87.0.