The Pacific Northwest Embraces Nonprofits


Nonprofits breathe life into the Pacific Northwest. The region embraces these businesses and offers great support networks to help them succeed. Oregon and Washington are two states whose business owners and residents value activities that benefit communities, including health care, the arts, and social services.

Nonprofits both big and small are a large part of the Pacific Northwest’s economy. In Washington nonprofits account for almost 10% of all jobs, while in Oregon it’s an even more impressive 12%, which is well above the national average. In fact, there are over 31,000 registered nonprofits and 183,000 nonprofit jobs in Oregon.

The salaries attract quality talent as well, as jog salaries are similar to for-profit industries. Oregon’s private for-profit industries paid an average salary of $47,602 in 2015, compared to $47, 554 for nonprofits. The average nonprofit hourly wage in 2015 was $20.79; 70% of nonprofit jobs paid $15 or more per hour. In Seattle many jobs pay at least that much. Recent increases to minimum wage encourage more skilled workers to move to the area and very few are leaving.

Washington ranks #4 in the top 10 states best for business, but unlike other industries it’s less about competition and more about cooperation. These mission-based businesses are built to serve. Similarly, nonprofit workers are generally guided more by a desire to be a part of and aid the community and create change where needed — and are often tasked to carry out their missions on extremely limited budgets. This creates an environment where both collaboration and creativity thrive.

Nonprofit Giving by the Numbers

Additionally, there are many organizations with a wealth of resources dedicated to helping nonprofits succeed. Oregon foundations give over $1 billion annually. In Washington the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation dominates the scene. The Gates Foundation made the largest grant, giving $156 million to PATH, a Seattle-based international health organization and $521 million in total.

The Oregon Community Foundation was second to Gates at $81.5 million, followed by the Schwab Charitable Fund, $53.2 million, the Seattle Foundation, $47.8 million, and the United Way of King County, $41.5 million. Monetary gifts from foundations to Northwest nonprofits increased 40% between 2012 and 2014.

Corporate philanthropy in general also made up a large portion of giving at about 8%, topping $152 million, dominated by two local corporations. Microsoft and The Boeing Company accounted for more than half of this giving, with $42.6 million and $39.3 million, respectively.

Individuals are also dedicated contributors. Oregonians give $2.04 billion to charity each year, representing 2.88 percent of household income. The state ranks 18th in individual giving at $1.76 billion yearly with over half (56%) of residents contributing $25 dollars or more to charity.

However, not all giving involves money! Over 31% of those living in Oregon (compared to 25% nationally) give their time to charitable organizations, making it ranked 13th in the nation for volunteerism. Over 128 million service hours at a value of $2.7 billion are contributed. It’s easy to see why this is good for the community as a whole, but it’s good for the individual too. Studies show people who give are happier. Households who participate in giving report better health indicators and, once again, overall improved happiness.

There are many reasons why you might want to move your business to the Pacific Northwest, but don’t let the actual move overwhelm you and your staff. All Service Moving makes your commercial move in Oregon and Washington a breeze.

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