April 25, 2007 | By: Laura Skillman

A report released by the University of Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Initiative highlights the social and economic impact of the state’s nonprofit sector.

“More Than Charity: Kentucky Nonprofit Report 2007” features the most recent information and statistics on Kentucky’s nonprofit organizations.

“This report will confirm what many nonprofit leaders have been saying for some time, the nonprofit sector is more than charity and should not be overlooked,” said Danielle Clore, director of the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative. “It is important that Kentuckians – community leaders, policy makers, the business community, citizens – recognize that the nonprofit sector provides vital services and programs for our communities, all aimed at improving our quality of life. But this report also illustrates that the sector is more than services provided; the nonprofit sector has an important impact on Kentucky’s economy.” 

The nonprofit sector in Kentucky comprises a vast and diverse set of organizations that include childcare centers, environmental, advocacy, and civil rights groups, hospitals, food pantries, educational institutions, theaters, and faith-based organizations.

The report draws on 2004 data that nonprofit organizations are required to file with the Internal Revenue Service, among other sources. Highlights include:

• Kentucky’s nonprofit sector contributed more than $11 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2004 and held assets of nearly $17 billion. 

• Kentucky’s nonprofit sector accounts for approximately 9 percent of the gross state product.

• In Kentucky, 4,263 nonprofits had gross receipts of more than $25,000 and were required to file the IRS Form 990. These organizations, often referred to as “reporting” nonprofits, provide much of the data available on the sector. 

• The major source of revenue for nonprofits in Kentucky is the fees charged for services and programs, accounting for 80 percent of all income received.

• Human services organizations make up the largest portion of Kentucky’s reporting charitable nonprofits at 38 percent, but those organizations had only 11.85 percent of nonprofit expenditures and held only 13 percent of total assets.

• Private contributions make up 9 percent of nonprofit revenue in Kentucky. The average charitable contribution of Kentucky itemizers was $3,061, consistent with the national average of 3.9 percent of income donated to nonprofits.

• The James Graham Brown Foundation of Louisville was the largest foundation in Kentucky with over $408 million in assets and distributing nearly $18 million in 2004.

The full report, including county specific data, is available at http://www.kynonprofits.org

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative is an outreach program of the UK College of Agriculture. The Initiative’s mission is to serve, support and strengthen the nonprofit sector in Kentucky. The Initiative provides quality programs and services that encourage nonprofit collaboration, effectiveness, accountability and innovation to strengthen communities.


Danielle Clore, 859-257-1037