The Economic Impact of Non-profits in Alaska

Alaska’s municipal government structure stands out compared to other states in the U.S. due to its dual system comprising cities and boroughs. Moreover, boroughs are further categorized as organized or unorganized, often reflecting the state of the local economy. This unique arrangement necessitates close collaboration between nonprofits and the government to deliver essential services such as utilities, fire & EMS, community libraries, and various social services – functions typically handled by local government entities in the Lower 48. For instance, more than 40 communities in Alaska rely on nonprofit volunteer fire departments, there are 47 nonprofit libraries operating across the state, and approximately 75% of Alaskans receive their power from nonprofit cooperative utilities.

Additionally, nonprofits often leverage federal funds to benefit the state. In fact, Federal grant funding in Alaska constituted 68% of total federal dollars to the state in 2020. While $12.6 billion in federal assistance was awarded to Alaska-based recipients during that period, $8 billion went directly to the government, with only $412 million allocated to nonprofits, representing 3% of the total. Overall, nonprofits in Alaska generated $7.84 billion in 2020. This indicates that the remaining $7.43 billion was generated through fees for services (e.g., healthcare, credit unions, utilities), social services, and philanthropic/private donations.

Nonprofits are also a major economic driver in Alaska. As quoted from the Foraker Economic Impact Report, “Nonprofits constitute Alaska’s third largest industry, by total impact” when referencing jobs provided to Alaskans (see Figure 1). Nonprofits also create 53% of all healthcare jobs in Alaska, 56% of utility jobs, 43% of finance jobs, and 39% of telecommunications jobs.

Kodiak is home to 113 of the 5,620 nonprofits that exist in Alaska, accounting for approximately 9%-16% of the jobs on Kodiak Island. As mentioned above, local & state governments work with nonprofits and the same is true in Kodiak. While nonprofits bring essential services to the community, the City of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough also provide funding to nonprofits; see the table below for how much has been contributed each fiscal year.

Funds Distributed to Nonprofits in Kodiak
City of Kodiak$553,086.20$553,104.18$549,568.20$595,718.20
Kodiak Island Borough$169,500$126,750$159,587$170,000

*Information above from and