The Economic Impact of Human Service Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in Allen County’s quality of life. They touch the lives of individuals at a multitude of levels.

They provide counsel to those who’ve experienced trauma. They help­ people re-enter the workforce. They provide the homeless with refuge.

But their impact reaches further into the lives of every individual in the community.


Foellinger Foundation was interested in this widespread impact; we wanted to know—just what is the economic impact of our human service organizations in Allen County?

In 2016, Alliance for Human Services (AHS) was formed, and its purpose includes initiatives to research issues that impact people; to build coalitions to address those issues; to educate the community; to influence public policy; and to share resources among our partner organizations Today, more than 50 Northeast Indiana nonprofit organizations work together to communicate the collective impact of human service nonprofits.

Foellinger Foundation and Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne provided the financial support for AHS to engage True North NPO and University of Saint Francis to conduct this study: Economic Impact of Allen County’s Human Service Organizations.

The study examines the 100 largest 501(c)(3) Human Service Organizations in Allen County.

Key Findings

A Source of Economic Strength

There are 373 human service 501(c)(3) organizations in Allen County, and they contribute more than $722 million to Allen County’s gross regional product (GRP). These organizations generate over $405 million in annual revenue and hold $552 million in assets. And despite their tax-exempt status, they generate approximately $4.1 million in direct, indirect and induced taxes at the county level every year.

A Major Employer

These 373 organizations directly employ 11,174 full-time employees making human service organizations the second largest employer in the county, second to hospitals. Plus, through indirect/induced activities that support these organizations, an estimated additional 4,234 jobs are created in our community.

Employment Wages

The 11,174 employees of human service nonprofits earned more than $382 million in wages in 2016. Their average annual wage of $31,231 is higher than the sectors of real estate, employment services and retail and full-service restaurants, which are among the largest employment sectors in Allen County.

Revenue Sources

Among the 100 largest human service organizations in Allen County, program services and investment income account for more than 50% of total revenue. Contributions, gifts and grants account for 46% of their revenue.


Economic Impact Analysis—All Allen County Human Service Nonprofits

Economic Impact Analysis—All Allen County Human Service Nonprofits

Total Effect

Nonprofit organizations:

·       Make Allen County an attractive place to live, visit and do business.

·       Support Allen County’s statewide and national economic strength.

·       Are the trusted vehicles through which Allen County citizens express their values.


With a fuller understanding of the comprehensive benefits that human service organizations provide to us, we hope that our community will understand the importance and impact of their services and continue (or start!) supporting the work they do to elevate our community’s quality of life.

Download the full report here.


For information about data in this report, please contact:

Steve Hoffman
(260) 423-3546


Angie Moellering
Lutheran Social Services
(260) 426-3347