Local nonprofits essential

November was recently proclaimed Nonprofit Awareness Month by Bob Riley, but I feel that so many people still don’t know how much nonprofits offer our communities. They have become essential to our quality of life. These organizations continue to nurture our communities through assistance, education and culture. A nonprofit is a nongovernmental organization that functions for the public’s interest instead of for profit.

Last year Alabama’s nonprofit sector generated $12.4 billion in revenue. This revenue was used to serve the general public in various areas. Nonprofit organizations are a big economic contributor currently employing more than 125,000 Alabamians.

With the increasing rate of poverty, unemployment and the number of dependent people relying on aid and relief programs, the presence of nonprofit organizations throughout the United States have become a vital part of society.

Alabama’s nonprofits impact all issues and needs. About 51 percent of Alabama’s nonprofits focus on health care issues. Another 23 percent of the state’s nonprofits have a mission dedicated to community enrichment. Girl Scouts for instance, along with more than 5,000 volunteers, delivers an enriching experience that helps more than 15,000 girls discover leadership, financial literacy and healthy ways of living.

Nonprofits are struggling to respond to the constant growth of public needs. The population growth, economic challenges and increase in social needs has driven the demand for nonprofits. As a community it is important that we continue to support the nonprofit sector of Alabama. Through continual donations and volunteering, Alabamians can strengthen their nonprofits while strengthening Alabama.

To learn more about Alabama’s nonprofits, visit Alabamanonprofits.org.

Hilary Perry is the communications director for the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama.