Foundations and non-profits are an economic force nationwide, representing almost 10 percent of the workforce. In 2007, the work of private and community foundations supported 9.2 million jobs nationwide; in 2005, the nonprofit community as a whole supported 12.9 million jobs, or approximately 9.7 percent of the country's workforce, and 8 percent of the wages earned nationwide.
During the recent recession, the nonprofit sector served as a counter-cyclical force and continued to hire workers. An analysis by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society indicates that non-profit employment grew by an average of 2.5 percent per year between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, the worst part of the recent recession.
Foundations invested more than $42.9 billion in nonprofits nationwide during 2009. A recent study found that every dollar granted by private and community foundations produces more than $8 in direct economic benefits to cities and communities in America - an enviable rate of return. And nonprofits are becoming increasingly creative in their use of those funds, in many cases building for profit businesses that promote their core mission.
Foundations and the nonprofit sector are laboratories for innovation. All of these programs approach problems facing their communities in different ways. But they all have one thing in common - they have used foundation funding to create jobs and boost small businesses, move people out of poverty, and lay the groundwork for financial security.
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