The following framework, developed to underscore the data and themes derived from the Built for Texas report, is constructed around the core ideals of collective responsibility, community, and interdependence, and present nonprofits as a part of decision-making solutions.

Summarized below are key report findings, each paired with a case for underscoring why the said finding matters. This structure is intended to provoke discussion on the value and current capacity of Texas nonprofits.

In 2018, there were almost 110K (or 106,764) Texas nonprofit organizations registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – in the past decade, the Texas nonprofit sector has more than doubled – the number of nonprofits in Texas is growing by almost 10% per year.

Why it matters

The sector has an eminently Texan approach – with local voices, local knowledge, local values, local leadership, and local solutions driving nonprofit work. As mission-driven organizations governed by community leaders, nonprofits have the flexibility and entrepreneurial capacity to respond to changes in our
Texas landscape.



Nonprofits are integral to how communities solve problems as nonprofits rely on Texans to donate their time and services as volunteers.

Why it matters

Nonprofits are often more nimble and cost-effective in responding to community needs as they are able to leverage significant volunteer hours and private donations – something government can’t do. While the rate of volunteering in Texas was at pace with the whole nation in 2002, both the Texas and national rates of volunteers giving their time and talent to nonprofits have declined since then. As charitable activity, volunteering and donations decline, it is critical to find new ways to support the nonprofit sector.

The economic benefits from the ongoing operations of Texas nonprofits include $1 out of every $16 ($216.6 billion) in annual expenditures and $1 out of every $13 ($110 billion) in annual gross product.

As an example, Texas nonprofit hospitals lead gains to business activity across Texas of $43.5 billion in gross product per year and 526,788 jobs, when multiplier effects are included, with $85.9 billion in total expenditures.

Why it matters

Contributing to the overall financial health of the Texas economy, nonprofits demonstrate and exemplify the potential to bring in money (or keep money from leaving the state), provide jobs and wages to Texans, and circulate money in the economy through their purchases of goods and services.



1 in 8 Texas (private) jobs are in or tied directly to the nonprofit sector.

Why it matters

With 1.4 million employees and nonprofits contributing to every one of Texas’ major industries, nonprofits have a significant influence on local economies.

Nonprofits leverage $4.89 billion of government and private donation dollars to help bridge the gap for Texas’ needs.

Why it matters

Nonprofits are critical partners with government in ensuring the prosperity and vitality of Texas. Nonprofit missions are complementary to the goals of government. Without the essential infrastructure of the nonprofit sector, government would need to increase taxes in order to provide the
range of services and innovative solutions to communities needs
that Texas nonprofits efficiently provide.



Texas nonprofits move beyond ‘charity’ and contribute to every one of Texas’ major industries. They also have the ability to experiment and innovate, finding solutions to pressing social problems.

Why it matters

The sector’s reach is wide representing a diversity of organizations who represent a cross of all industries. Together, Texas nonprofits unite around a common purpose: advance the common good for Texans.

The nonprofit sector in Texas is as expansive as it is diverse, representing missions ranging from health, arts, conservation, education, civic leagues, volunteer fire departments, chambers of commerce, electric utility cooperatives, and state-chartered credit unions to name a few. In all 254 counties across the state, nonprofits work to better their communities by directly addressing issues of concern through public service or civic engagement. While every nonprofit is unique, all are based on the core value of people coming together around a shared issue and pursuing the greater, common good. 


Nonprofits contribute to the overall health of Texas’ economy by bringing in money from outside sources ($326 million awarded by out-of-state foundations in the form of 2,290 grants), keeping money from leaving the state ($1.02 billion invested in Texas nonprofits by Texas foundations in 2017), providing jobs and wages to hard-working Texans (1 in 8 Texas jobs are in or tied directly to the nonprofit sector), and circulating money in the economy through their purchases of goods and services.


Nonprofits are also a taxpaying workforce and a network of community leaders, policymakers, and businesses. In addition, nonprofits benefit us in ways that can’t be easily quantified. Texas nonprofits are the bedrock for community-building, innovation, and the leveraging of public-private partnerships.


Did You Know Texas Nonprofits...?

The research for Built for Texas provides an economic estimate of the vast contribution Texas nonprofits make to the lives of Texans and to the continuing prosperity of our state. The report’s economic analysis was conducted by The Perryman Group in collaboration with the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Bush School at Texas A&M University. Funding and strategic direction was provided by The Meadows Foundation, OneStar, the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin, and United Ways of Texas.

This report and related sector engagement work is made possible by a group of funding and research partners dedicated to the idea that strong nonprofits make strong communities:

Special thanks to Erica Ekwurzel, consultant and writer, and Karli Isiyel, designer.