In February 2015, Mission Capital released new research that reveals vulnerability in Austin’s social sector and suggests existing philanthropic efforts are not able to keep up with growing demand. Despite Austin’s rapid growth and top ranking on many “Best of” lists, persistent social problems remain. On the Verge: Value and Vulnerability of Austin’s Nonprofit Sector identifies new approaches to better address community issues.

On the Verge: Value and Vulnerability of Austin’s Nonprofit Sector

This report examines the state of Austin’s nonprofit sector, detailing its size, scope and economic value, which has assets approaching $10 billion.

While some organizations are on the verge of breakout success, sector-wide and organizational challenges have left others on the verge of shutting down. Addressing these challenges, and the complex problems facing our community, requires a fundamental shift in how nonprofits operate and a commitment from the entire community.

Key findings include:

  • Total Austin MSA: $5.6B in nonprofit revenue and $9.5B in nonprofit assets.
  • Austin area is home to nearly 6,000 nonprofits. The number of nonprofits has increased by 36% since 2004, nearly double the national average (20%). However 72% of nonprofits have less than $100K in income and less than 15% have any paid staff.Support the work of Austin’s social sector through high-impact investments.
  • Despite the high cost of living, wages for Austin area workers are 14% below nonprofit wages in the state.
  • Even with more nonprofits, 81% report that demand for services has increased over the past year.

We hope this research, and the accompanying calls to action, prompt a rich discussion across this community, and ultimately lead to transformational change in Austin.

Related Content

Press Release

Research reveals vulnerability in Austin’s social sector.

Community Impact Article

Growth not without struggle for Austin’s philanthropic groups.

Blog Post by Marisa Zappone

It’s not a “nonprofit problem” it’s a community problem.


You’re on a mission. You’re invested in our community. You want to be part of something meaningful. You want to see change happen. So do we.

Build Your Expertise

Access our in-depth research, learning and leadership programs, and resource library, all created with your success in mind.

Strengthen Your Organization

Overcome your nonprofit’s challenges with our selection of services, such as strategic planning and board development.

Multiply Your Impact

Connect to creative investment models and partnerships that maximize the difference you make in our community.