Nonprofit organizations contribute about $11 billion annually to the Maine economy and employ more than 95,000 state residents, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Maine Association of Nonprofits.

The sector contributes about 20 percent of the state’s total GDP, which in 2016 was $57.6 billion, the report says.

“Adding Up Impact: Maine Nonprofits at Work” is a biennial report outlining the contributions of Maine nonprofit groups to the state’s economy and quality of life. The report focuses on registered 501(c)3 nonprofits in Maine, which generally raise or generate through investments at least $5,000 a year. About 6,000 are public charities, while another 475 are private foundations. About 3,000 of those organizations, generally those that generate at least $50,000 a year in gross receipts, file annual tax returns that include detailed financial information.

“Nonprofits are critical partners with government and business in bolstering Maine’s economic future,” Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of the association, said in a news release.

According to the report, Maine’s nonprofit sector paid over $4.3 billion in wages in 2015, or 17.5 percent of the state’s total payroll. Those wages translated to an estimated $264 million of personal income-tax revenue for state and local governments and over $679 million in federal tax revenue.

Nonprofits in Maine employ roughly one in six workers, making the nonprofit sector a larger source of employment than any other industry in the state, the report says.

According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maine was tied with Massachusetts in 2012 for the fourth-highest share of private-sector employment from nonprofits at 17.7 percent. New York and Rhode Island led with 18.1 percent, followed by Vermont at 17.9 percent. Nationally, 10.3 percent of all private-sector employment was from nonprofits in 2012.

The Maine Association of Nonprofits report features case studies of six nonprofits to illustrate how such organizations stimulate the economy, strengthen communities, foster civic engagement and create a safety net for Maine residents.

For example, a case study of Boothbay-based Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens reveals that the organization generated $16.2 million in spending in the area economy in 2015 by attracting 105,000 visitors. It provided 90 jobs and paid out $1.6 million in salary and benefits. According to the report, the organization’s total economic impact that year was $26.3 million.

The report was funded with support from the Maine Community Foundation, the Maine Health Access Foundation and the Unity Foundation. The full report can be viewed online at

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: craiganderson

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