Despite economic headwinds of late that have prompted numerous companies to tighten their belt, local businesses and individuals have remained in a giving mood, sending revenues higher for Orange County’s largest nonprofits.
The 100 organizations on the Business Journal’s annual list of largest nonprofits reported their combined revenue rose 6% to $2.3 billion for the year ended June 30. Last year, the combined revenue of the largest nonprofits fell 1.3%.
The top 10 largest nonprofits are responsible for much of this growth, with nine of the top 10 organizations reporting notable revenue gains ranging from 2% to north of 300%.
Nearly half of the nonprofits on the list reported increases in the double- and triple-digit range.
One such triple-digit increase was the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, jumping from No. 23
to the No. 5 slot last year after reporting its revenue had quadrupled to $107.7 million, due to an increase in box office sales, philanthropic donations and investment portfolio returns.
It was the second-largest increase on the list, after it reported the largest decrease on last year’s list, with holdings down $44.8 million in fiscal 2022.
The return to gains for Segerstrom brings it close to its fiscal 2021 revenue of $109.1 million, which was up 115% from the year prior due to several large estate gifts.
The largest nonprofit in Orange County based on revenue is now Santa Ana-based Think Together, up from No. 3 last year. It reported a 55% revenue increase to $185.5 million, a reflection of ongoing expansion efforts for the organization, the largest after-school program operator for underserved kids in the state.
The group is investing millions on a recruiting team to hire about 600 personnel a month, to ultimately fill 15,000 part-time roles for its after-school enrichment programs to help meet California’s goal to provide programs for all high-need students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade.
The organization had 328 paid staff in OC as of October, a 55% increase from a year prior, and 1,191 local volunteers, nearly triple the amount from October 2022.
The nonprofit currently serves about 600 schools in California, around 10% of the state’s K-12 educational footprint.
Within five years, it aims to grow its student population sixfold to serve 1 million students.
Think Together unseated Goodwill of Orange County for the No. 1 spot. Goodwill reported a slight increase in revenue—1.5% to $169 million—good for No. 2 on this year’s list.
Social Justice Efforts
The Business Journal ranks 100 nonprofits with headquarters or major operations in Orange County and revenue higher than $3 million. They are ranked by annual revenue.
This year’s list reflects cash contributions and in-kind goods and services such as volunteering.
About 54 nonprofits reported an increase while 39 had a drop. Another seven didn’t make their latest revenue figures available.
Rounding out the top five on this year’s list is Orange County Community Foundation, up one slot to No. 3, and the National Christian Foundation, down two notches to No. 4.
The Orange County Community Foundation, which reported a 52% increase in
revenue to $151.7 million, moved its headquarters this year from Newport Beach to Irvine.
The organization generates revenue from donors, including individuals, families, foundations and businesses who wish to fulfill charitable objectives through the foundation.
The firm also launched a new initiative, the Orange County Social Justice Fund, headed by Keith Swayne, who for 22 years served as CEO of Case Swayne Co., a maker of custom sauces and seasonings, and after its sale to BestFoods, as CEO of its successor International Food Solutions.
The group aims to “shine a light on the issues that need to be addressed in Orange County to ensure it is a community that provides equitable opportunity to all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics,” Swayne told the Business Journal in a June Leader Board article.
It has given north of $400,000 in grants to 25 local nonprofits, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast, which will use the funding for its workforce development efforts.