Measuring the non-profit sector cross-nationally: a comparative methodology

Lester M. Salamon, Helmut K. Anheier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


As a result in part of the way non-profit institutions are defined and treated in the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA), little is known about the size, scope, financial base and role of this set of institutions at the international level, even though their importance is increasingly being recognised throughout the world. To remedy this significant lack of systematic information on non-profit institutions cross-nationally, the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project has undertaken a major analysis of the economic role of this sector in twelve countries throughout the world, utilising a more meaningful definition of the sector and an approach that is otherwise consistent with the overall thrust of the SNA system. This paper outlines the basis of the more inclusive definition of the non-profit sector embodied in this project, the classification system formulated to structure data-gathering on this more broadly-defined sector and the data assembly strategy developed to build up key estimates of the scale, structure and revenue sources of the non-profit sector in the project countries. The article concludes with a recommendation to incorporate a similar approach to the assembly of data on the non-profit sector into the ongoing SNA system on a regular basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-554
Number of pages25
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring the non-profit sector cross-nationally: a comparative methodology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this