Myths About the Nonprofit Sector

Brief

Myths About the Nonprofit Sector

July 1, 1998

Abstract

This paper dispels certain myths about the nonprofit sector. It traces back some of the misperceptions to the 1980s when nonprofit organizations were propelled into the limelight by President Reagan's budget cutbacks, which were intended to dismantle inefficient government social programs. This paper profiles the nonprofit sector in terms of its diversity and finances. The paper also highlights the paucity of information about certain entitiesreligious congregations, for examplewhich are exempt from reporting to the Internal Revenue Service. Finally, the paper characterizes the pressures on nonprofits because of declining volunteerism, market pressures, and decreasing government grants and contracts.

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