Grantmaking, and Civic Organizations
Advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations in the United States, at
some point, affect everyone's life. In every State, these types of
organizations are working to better their communities by directly
addressing issues of public concern through service, independent action,
or civic engagement. These organizations span the political spectrum of
ideas and encompass every aspect of human endeavor, from symphonies to
little leagues, and from homeless shelters and day care centers to
natural resource conservation advocates. These organizations often are
collectively called "nonprofits," a name that is used to describe
institutions and organizations that are neither government nor business.
Other names often used include the not-for-profit sector, the third
sector, the independent sector, the philanthropic sector, the voluntary
sector, or the social sector. Outside the United States, these
organizations often are called nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) or
civil society organizations.
These other names
emphasize the characteristics that distinguish advocacy, grantmaking,
and civic organizations from businesses and government. Unlike
businesses, these organizations do not exist to make money for owners or
investors, but that doesn't mean that they cannot charge fees or sell
products that generate revenue, or that revenue must not exceed
expenses. Instead, these groups are dedicated to a specific mission that
enhances the social fabric of society. Unlike government, these
organizations are not able to mandate changes through legislation or
regulations enforceable by law. Instead, they work toward the mission of
their organization by relying on a small group of paid staff and the
voluntary service and financial support of large numbers of their
members or the public. This industry includes four main segments:
business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations,
civic and social organizations, social advocacy organizations, and
grantmaking and giving services.
professional, labor, political, and similar organizations comprised
about 50 percent of the advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations
industry establishments. Business associations are primarily engaged in
promoting the business interests of their members. They include
organizations such as chambers of commerce, real estate boards, and
manufacturers' and trade associations. They may conduct research on new
products and services; develop market statistics; sponsor quality and
certification standards; lobby public officials; or publish newsletters,
books, or periodicals for distribution to their members. Professional
organizations seek to advance the interests of their members and their
profession as a whole. Examples of professional associations are health
professional and bar associations. Labor organizations promote the
interests of the labor union members they represent by negotiating
improvement in wages, benefits, and working conditions. They persuade
workers to become members of a union and then seek the right to
represent them in collective bargaining with their employer. Political
organizations promote the interests of national, State, or local
political parties and their candidates for elected public positions.
Included are political groups organized to raise funds for a political
party or individual candidates, such as political action committees
(PACs). A variety of other similar organizations also are included in
this segment of the advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations
industry. They include athletic associations that regulate or administer
various sports leagues, conferences, or even entire sports at the
amateur or professional level. Also included in this segment are
condominium and homeowners' associations, property owners' associations,
and tenant associations.
About 24 percent of
the establishments in the advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations
industry are associated with civic and social organizations engaged in
promoting the civic and social interests of their members. These
organizations include alumni associations, automobile clubs, booster
clubs, youth scouting organizations, and parent-teacher associations.
This segment also includes social clubs, fraternal lodges, ethnic
associations, and veterans' membership organizations, some of which may
operate bars and restaurants for their members.
organizations, which comprise 15 percent of advocacy, grantmaking, and
civic organization establishments, promote a particular cause or work
for the realization of a specific social or political goal to benefit
either a broad segment of the population or a specific constituency.
They often solicit contributions and offer memberships to support their
activities. There are three types of social advocacy organizations:
human rights organizations; environment, conservation, and wildlife
organizations; and all other social advocacy organizations. Human rights
organizations address issues, such as protecting and promoting the broad
constitutional rights and civil liberties of individuals and those
suffering from neglect, abuse, or exploitation. They also may promote
the interests of specific groups, such as children, women, senior
citizens, or persons with disabilities; work to improve relations
between racial, ethnic, and cultural groups; or promote voter education
and registration. Environment, conservation, and wildlife organizations
promote the preservation and protection of the environment and wildlife.
They address issues such as clean air and water; conserving and
developing natural resources, including land, plant, water, and energy
resources, and protecting and preserving wildlife and endangered
species. Other social advocacy organizations address issues such as
peace and international understanding; organize and encourage community
action; or advance social causes, such as firearms safety, drunk driving
prevention, and drug abuse awareness.
Grantmaking and giving
services comprised about 11 percent of advocacy, grantmaking, and civic
organizations establishments and include grantmaking foundations,
voluntary health organizations, and establishments primarily engaged in
raising funds for a wide range of social welfare activities, such as
health, educational, scientific, and cultural activities. Grantmaking
foundations, also called charitable trusts, award grants from trust
funds based on a competitive selection process or on the preferences of
the foundation managers and grantors; some fund a single entity, such as
a museum or university. There are two types of grantmaking
foundations—private foundations and public foundations. Most of the
funds of a private foundation come from one source—an individual, a
family, or a corporation. Public foundations, in contrast, normally
receive their funds from multiple sources, which may include private
foundations, individuals, government agencies, and fees for services.
Moreover, public foundations must continue to seek money from diverse
sources in order to retain their public status. Voluntary health
organizations are primarily engaged in raising funds for health-related
research, such as the development of new treatments for diseases like
cancer or heart disease, disease awareness and prevention, or health
Advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations receive the revenue that
makes possible their operations from a variety of sources. Some
organizations receive most of their funds from private contributions.
Many organizations have experienced an increase in donors, stemming
partially from more favorable treatment of donations by tax laws. Also,
estates of many members of the Depression generation (those born during
the 1920s and 1930s) have donated large sums to these organizations.
However, many advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations—such as
nonprofit hospitals and universities—generate revenue by charging fees
for the services they provide, earning interest on investments, or
producing and selling goods.
The formation of joint
ventures or partnerships between advocacy, grantmaking, and civic
organizations and corporations also has risen. The last few years also
have seen a rise in three-sector partnerships formed between an
advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organization, a corporation, and a
government agency. These partnerships have ensured a steady flow of
income to the advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations industry
and increased public awareness of these organizations and the importance
of their missions. On the corporate side, partnerships help sell
corporate products, enhance the civic image of the corporation, and
allow corporations to provide additional revenue to advocacy,
grantmaking, and civic organizations, which have traditionally relied on
technology also is increasing the capacity of advocacy, grantmaking, and
civic organizations to advocate their causes and to raise funds.
Interactive Web sites, e-mail and electronic philanthropy, and
electronically generated databases have transformed the way these
organizations communicate with the public, grantmakers, and donors.
These advancements have reduced the costs of gathering constituents and
connecting to policymakers and allies. These technological advancements
also have changed the way charitable organizations interact with
government and its agencies as they continue to use "e-services" in
order to remain efficient. For advocacy, grantmaking, and civic
organizations, these advances provide an opportunity to reduce their
paperwork, increase their efficiency in responding to regulatory
demands, and improve their organizational capabilities. The Internet
will continue to change the way these organizations collect and report
data, and lead to greater consolidation of Federal and State regulatory
demands on the industry.
percent of the workers in advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations
worked full time; the remainder worked part-time or variable schedules.
Most workers spend the majority of their time in offices functioning in
a team environment, often working with volunteers. The work environment
may differ depending on the size of the organization. For those who work
in small organizations, the equipment is sometimes outdated and their
workspace cramped. But, in larger, well-funded organizations, conditions
are very similar to those in most business offices. The work environment
generally is positive—workers know that their work helps people and
improves their communities.
Top executives and workers responsible for fundraising may travel
frequently to meet with supporters and potential donors, often in
evenings and on weekends. Fundraising can be highly stressful because
the financial health of the organization depends on being successful.
Workers employed in the delivery of social services also work in very
stressful environments because many of their clients are struggling with
a wide range of problems related to child care, child welfare, juvenile
justice, addiction, health, unemployment, and inadequate workforce
Advocacy, grantmaking, and civic
organizations have 1.3 million wage and salary jobs in the United
States. About 73 percent of them were in civic, social, professional, or
similar organizations. Advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations
establishments are found throughout the nation, but the greatest numbers
of jobs are found in California and New York, the States with the
greatest population. Most establishments in this industry are small; the
majority of jobs are in establishments that employ fewer than 50 people.
need marketing or technological expertise and often hire someone from
the for-profit sector, especially if that person has volunteer
experience. Some individuals with degrees in STEM and Healthcare find
that their careers lead to working at an advocacy, grantmaking, or civic
organization that may represent those who work in a specific field.
For example, many engineers work at the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers, where they serve to support other engineers and the field of
engineering in general.
Wage and salary jobs in advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations
are projected to increase 14 percent over the 2008-18 period, compared
to 11 percent growth projected for all industries combined.
The continued growth
in the economy and the workforce will drive demand for business,
professional, and labor organizations. As new and emerging industries
arise and as new workers enter the labor force, they will look to these
groups to represent their interests. Many individuals and businesses
also use these organizations as a resource to help them develop their
careers or find new customers, which will continue to be important in a
competitive economic environment.
Civic and social
organizations will experience increased demand as the population grows
and as people continue to value the interests and connections they make
as part of these groups. In particular, as the population ages and as
more people enter retirement, demand for organizations that cater to
these individuals will increase.
Social and demographic
shifts will also increase the demand for services offered by advocacy
and grantmaking organizations. Increased demand for nonprofit services
that these organizations organize, advocate, or solicit for will result
from a rapidly growing elderly population. Other demographic shifts that
will contribute to an increase in demand for nonprofit services include
the growing numbers of immigrants and refugees; a high divorce rate
creating more single parent households; more out-of-wedlock births; and
greater ethnic and cultural diversity.
upper-level managers usually receive a salary. Entry-level salaries vary
based on education, experience, and the size, budget, and geographic
location of the association. The Nonprofit Times Annual Salary Survey
reported the following average total compensation:
giving officer & major gifts officer
benefits vary by region, sector, organization budget, geographic scope,
number of employees, and type of organization. Most organizations appear
to provide long-term disability, extended health care, dental,
prescription drug, and life insurance coverage to all employees. Vision
care has become a common benefit in the industry. Most employers pay all
of their employees' insurance benefit premiums, but none of the coverage
for their dependents. Only some organizations allow their employees to
purchase additional life insurance beyond the basic benefit amount
provided, but most hold the line at somewhat less than one year's
salary, with one and two years' salary being common as well. Many
advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations provide an automobile or
car allowance to their senior managers, with most of them paying the
entire cost for chief executive officers.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.