Written by Bill Kopp
WNC Businesses and Nonprofits Collaborating for the Community
Nonprofit organizations are, so to speak, big business in Western North Carolina. Nearly 14 percent of the region’s workers are employed in the nonprofit sector, which, according to the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, represents at least $15 billion in annual wages. According to a 2017 Capital at Play feature (“Nonprofits in Western North Carolina: A Report”), nonprofits represent a larger share of the economy in WNC than they do nationally.
As that same story notes, at that time there were more than 4,500 nonprofit organizations in Western North Carolina; even after removing churches from that calculation, there are still more than 3,900 initiatives with the federal 501(c)3 designation. More than a third of these are in Buncombe County, with the rest centered primarily around Hendersonville, Rutherfordton, Boone, Canton, and Franklin.
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