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The nation’s largest nonprofits reported aggregate revenue of $86.4 billion in 2019, which is up 1 percent over the previous year. Those figures come from The NonProfit Times‘ 2020 NPT 100 report, a study of the largest nonprofits in the United States. Jacob Harold, executive vice president at Candid, shares his insights during a discussion about the 33rd annual NPT 100 on this episode of Fresh Research.


This year’s report is unique in that the NPT 100 covers the Fiscal Year Ending 2019, which for most nonprofits means anywhere from March to December 2019 — before the pandemic was declared, bringing activity to a halt in the spring.

Jacob Harold“My main takeaway was a sense of relief to be reminded of the scale and relative health of some of these institutions. I see them as a fundamentally good part of Americans society. And so I left a bit encouraged,” Harold said. There are obviously lots of subplots in this data, but my overwhelming takeaway was relief,” he said. “This question of big and small, I think is kind up in the air for me. Do we see that the uncertainty and challenge of this year affects bigger organizations proportionately less, because they simply have more capacity to absorb change? Or do we see new kinds of agility from small organizations.”

No. 1 was The Y with more than $8 billion in total revenue. That included $5.9 billion in program service, $1 billion in public support, $701 million in government support, $153 million in investment income, and $189 million in other revenue. No. 100 was WGBH Educational Foundation with $204. 7 million. There were 17 organizations that reported more than $1 billion in total revenue.

Among the organizations new to this year’s list are the ACLU Foundation (No. 99, $205.4 million) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (No. 76, $287 million).

Organizations are ranked by total revenue, with the stipulation that at least 10 percent must be derived from public support. For that reason, nonprofits whose revenue consists primarily of government support or program revenue often don’t make the list, like most hospitals. Excluded from the NPT 100 are colleges, universities and donor-advised funds (DAF).

As we celebrate our 36th year, NPT remains dedicated to supplying breaking news, in-depth reporting, and special issue coverage to help nonprofit executives run their organizations more effectively.