The nonprofit sector in Texas is a unique and powerful force that is integral to improving the quality of life for all Texans and making our state a vibrant place to live and work. However, since much of the work of Texas’ incredibly diverse nonprofits happens behind the scenes, the value of the sector is often underestimated and misunderstood—when, in fact, nonprofits are an essential asset to our state’s economy as well as the very fabric of our communities.
Last year, OneStar partnered with with United Ways of Texas to produce an eye-opening analysis on the enormous impact of Texas’ nonprofit sector. The resulting report, Built for Texas: The Impact and Opportunity of Our Nonprofit Sector, reveals compelling insights and data on the vital role nonprofits play in our state’s economic landscape and contributes to a fuller, more informed understanding of the nonprofit sector in Texas. While there is no typical nonprofit size, service, or business model, all nonprofits are dedicated to three core principles: building community to connect people to opportunities and strengthen our Lone Star State’s social fabric through broader civic engagement, stimulating economic development while advancing the common good and investing significant financial and human resources throughout the state, and serving as a critical partner to business and government to deliver services and develop innovative solutions to create a prosperous Texas where we can all live, work, and thrive.
It is crucial to understand the significant impact that nonprofits have on our state’s economy:
- The sector employs 600,000 Texans at 110,000 organizations, all working hands-on, every day in their communities;
- Driving over $110 billion towards the state’s GDP;
- Leveraging almost $5 billion in government dollars as the state contracts with over 100,000 nonprofits;
- It is responsible for 1 out of every 8 (private) Texas jobs;
- Nonprofits account for $1 out of every $16 dollars changing hands across the state.
Nonprofits are resource-efficient and business-minded problem solvers in our state—and that’s just taking the economic perspective. So much of our sector’s impact is made the hearts and minds of the individuals and communities we serve:
- We promote values and ideals that support the quality of life in our communities.
- We lift people up, helping Texans and communities to be their best.
- We take the time to get to know our communities—their characteristics, challenges, and solutions—and take those to scale.
- We are local leaders, resources, and experts who are trusted in our communities to drive impact and make change.
Every Texas community is a better place to live and work due to the endeavors of nonprofits. But as a young and structurally underdeveloped sector, nonprofits are in need of support and resources if they are to meet the future needs of Texans. Our hope is that this report serves as a vehicle to unite, rally, and strongly articulate the added value (as well as the capacity limitations) of the overall sector and leads to deeper exploration of how nonprofits can drive collaborative solutions to local community challenges.
Upcoming Built for Texas Regional Convenings
We are committed to strengthening and supporting the nonprofit sector in all regions of Texas. Part of this commitment is educating and empowering nonprofit leaders at the local level about the important role they play in improving our communities.
In partnership with OneStar, United Ways of Texas is bringing leaders from our sector together for regional nonprofit educational opportunities. We invite you to the table as we explore this newly released data on the state’s nonprofit sector, and what it says about the power of our sector and the role we must play on behalf of those we serve. Join a regional nonprofit convening near you to join the conversation (list will be updated as registration links become available):
Most of the Built for Texas regional convenings have been postponed due to public health concerns around the coronavirus. For details about your region, please contact your local host organization. OneStar encourages all Texans to adhere to state and federal guidelines to practice social distancing and avoid large public gatherings. This page will be updated once new convening dates have been identified – stay tuned!