urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy

CNP tag lineThe Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy (CNP) conducts and disseminates research on the role and impact of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy.

Our Mission

To promote understanding of civil society and improve nonprofit sector performance through rigorous research, clear analysis and informed policy. Read more about the role of the center in this interview with the director Elizabeth T. Boris. 

Major Initiatives

A full description of our projects is offered HERE


  • Improving Parenting Skills: New Tools in PerformWell -
    June 25, 2013, 3:00-4:30pm (EST).
    Register for this FREE webinar
  • View our 15th Anniversary Listing of celebratory events. 

Latest Reports

Donor Retention Matters
Putnam Barber, Wilson "Bill" Levis

Applications for 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status Declining:
Recession or Rule Change?

Amy Blackwood, Katie L. Roeger

National Indicators and Social Wealth
Erwin de Leon

Nonprofit Fundraising Study: Covering Charitable Receipts at U.S. and
Canadian Nonprofit Organizations in the First Six Months of 2011

Nonprofit Research Collaborative

A Profile of Nonprofit Organizations in the Greater
New Orleans Metropolitan Area

Carol J. De Vita, Amy Blackwood and Katie L. Roeger

Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering 2012
Amy Blackwood, Katie L. Roeger and Sarah L. Pettijohn

The Charitable Property-Tax Exemption and PILOTs
Evelyn Brody, Mayra Marquez and Katherine Toran

A Wake-Up Call for Funders: Effectiveness Requires More Support for Grantees’ Assessment Efforts
CNP's director blogs for the Center for Effective Philanthropy

More CNP Reports, Books and Recordings

National Center for Charitable Statistics

NCCSThe National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), a program of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, is the national clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States.

For the latest data on the nonprofit sector, see The Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering, 2012

For data and quick answers about the U.S. nonprofit sector, visit our Statistics and Profiles pages.

Read five Questions for Thomas H. Pollak on local nonprofits' financial health.

File Forms 990 and State Registration Forms Electronically

efile 990Developed by NCCS, 990 Online© is a web-based application that allows nonprofit organizations and nonprofit accountants to electronically prepare and submit IRS Forms 990, 990-EZ and 8868 (Extension Request). Organizations can electronically file their tax returns for fiscal years ending 2005 to 2008. The service is free for small organizations. State Registration Forms are currently available for Pennsylvania, Michigan and Hawaii. New York and Mississippi are slated to join our offerings soon. Read more.

Form 990-N (ePostcard)

Small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less may be required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard.  Organizations can file this form using our IRS-approved web product.  Click here to get started.

NCCS Publications on Smaller Public Charities



Audio and Video Recordings