Why Nonprofits are “Heroes of our Society”


They improve the human condition in so many important ways that benefit business and the community. They seek solutions to the toughest human problems, frequently creating solutions the market or government can’t. And they work across the broad spectrum of global needs and wants, impacting all humans in some way.

They enable human society to progress, enriching and expanding culture. They address the most poignant needs of human beings in our communities. They are an impressive force for good.

Nonprofit institutions offer a wide breadth and depth of social, civic and personal enrichment opportunities. So many fields that touch on our lives are the province of nonprofits—religion, public advocacy, poverty, disease, food insecurity, aging, developmental opportunities, physical, psychological and mental disabilities, historical sites, public spaces, life-changing research—all of great importance to our communities. They are key providers of educational services across the socioeconomic scale. The huge strata of healthcare issues are vitally impacted by nonprofits. And, as Satell Institute Founder Ed Satell says: “The most important nonprofit is the one your family happens to need at any given time.”

Recently a new book, Giving Done Right, by Phil Buchanan, came to our attention. He also argues that same point, giving multiple examples of nonprofits and their staff producing heroic results. And rather than being held to “business” standards, he concludes they have their own methods of creating impact –that is solving community needs, and every effective giver to a nonprofit is part of that.

The majority of Americans give to nonprofits in some form or another. Business has been increasing Corporate Social Responsibility contributions by 2 to 6% for the last five years. It’s an important dynamic. There is real recognition that nonprofits seek to do the most good possible, using the funds and resources they’re given.

Current Statistics
Today, there are 1.56 million nonprofits in the United States alone. The revenues from these organizations exceed 2.34 trillion US dollars. The nonprofit sector contributed an estimated 985.4 billion dollars to the US economy in 2015, which is 5.4 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). And the good they do is essential to the attractiveness of a community for business purposes and perceived quality of the community needed for growth. The statistical evidence shows that more than one quarter of the US population (25.2%) volunteer for a nonprofit, and nonprofits account for 11.4 million jobs, 10.3 percent of all private sector employment. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor states: “These figures provide an insight into this important segment of the U.S. economy.”

Heroes of Society
For years, Satell Institute Founder Ed Satell has said: “Business takes care of the quantity of life. Nonprofits provide for much of the quality of life.” His observation rings true.


Giving Done Right, by Phil Buchanan, April 2019
Statistics cited are from the United States Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Center for Charitable Statistics

Meaningful New Opportunity for Nonprofit Affiliate Members
of the Satell Institute

On November 14th, 2019, at the Franklin Institute, the Satell Institute will convene its first private Business-Nonprofit Leadership Summit for Satell Institute Nonprofit Affiliate Members. The Institute is delighted to present this event for our Nonprofit Affiliates, who we consider Heroes of Society, as they improve the quality of life and take on some of society’s most intractable problems.

This will be a unique opportunity for nonprofit leaders to hear, interact with, and learn from for-profit CEOs and CSR executives about how to attract and maintain business-nonprofit collaborations and effective CSR initiatives. The Summit will also feature vibrant interactive leadership round table discussions and idea exchange which are highly valued by the professional attendees.

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