More than 315,000 nonprofit charities reported nearly $2.5 trillion in assets and some $1.4 billion in revenue for tax year 2008, according to the latest IRS Statistics on Income report.
These charities, exempt under 501(c)(3), represent the vast majority of organizations and account for the bulk of the financial activity for the tax-exempt sector.
The report is based on data the nonprofits filed on Form 990 with the IRS.
Large hospitals and universities dominated the financial activity of the nonprofit charitable sector in 2008, the most recent year for which data were available. Nine of the 10 largest nonprofits (measured by assets) were hospitals or university-affiliated organizations.
Large nonprofit groups received the majority of their revenue from program services, while smaller entities relied on contributions, gifts and grants as their primary source of revenue.
SOI said the nonprofit sector has grown steadily and significantly over the years it has conducted studies. Total expenses reported by nonprofits showed a cumulative real growth of 118% between tax years 1985 and 2008. Cumulative growth in GDP measured 67% over the same period.
Following is a list of the Top 10 nonprofit charitable organizations, by size of total assets, for tax year 2008, which includes returns filed in calendar years 2009 and 2010:
(Students parading at the University of Pennsylvania. Photo: AP)
10. (tie) University of Pennsylvania: $10.3 billion
10. (tie) Access Group: $10.3 billion
(Organization of 191 American Bar Association-accredited U.S. law schools)
10. (tie) Columbia University: $10.3 billion
(People exit a main entrance of MIT campus. Photo: AP)