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Study: Idaho Nonprofits Flex Economic Muscle

PHOTO: Idaho State Capitol Photo credit: Deborah Smith
PHOTO: Idaho State Capitol Photo credit: Deborah Smith
May 30, 2012

BOISE, Idaho - Nonprofits in Idaho are flexing their economic muscle, according to a new report.

The study, commissioned by the Idaho Nonprofit Center, calculated the effects of the state's nearly 4,800 nonprofit organizations. Lynn Hoffman, the center's executive director, says nonprofits bring in nearly $2 billion from out-of-state sources and employ more than 48,000 people.

"People think of the good works that we do, the programs and services we provide, but are really not thinking about the fact that we are significant employers, significant taxpayers. We are significant contributors to Gross State Product."

While nonprofits themselves aren't thought of as taxpayers, Hoffman says, they create tax revenue - with the total ranging between $117 million and $175 million a year.

Hoffman says she hopes the report paves the way for more collaboration between business sectors, along with the understanding that nonprofits are strong contributors to Idaho's economy.

"I think that all three sectors - the private sector, public sector and nonprofit sector - need to be working together so that we are improving our communities."

The report also found that 400,000 Idahoans volunteer 60 million hours each year, ranking the state third nationally for volunteer hours.

The report, "Economic Impacts of Idaho's Nonprofit Organizations," is online at idahononprofits.org.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID