While nonprofits are often recognized for their mission-based achievements and results, the economic impact as dynamic organizations is often overlooked. Nationally, nonprofits employ roughly 10% of the workforce and contributed $1.4 trillion to the economy in the first quarter of 2022.
What does that look like at a local level? In honor of Maryland Economic Development Week, The Arc Central Chesapeake Region is sharing some of the ways we contribute to a healthy economy.
Growth in Numbers
Over the last five years, The Arc has experienced significant growth in services, leadership, outreach, and infrastructure. In 2017, The Arc had an annual budget of $30 million. Today, The Arc’s annual budget is just over $150 million.
The Arc was founded in 1961 to provide service and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Anne Arundel County. We now proudly support nine counties throughout Maryland, and in fiscal year 2022, The Arc created over 3,000 opportunities for people to live, work, and connect with their communities.
Growth in Services
For more than 20 years, The Arc has provided fiscal management service for people in Self-Direction, a state-wide initiative. This allows people to have greater control over when and how they receive their services and who provides them. In this program, people with disabilities act as their own small businesses, hiring, training, and paying their own support teams.
Since 2016, The Arc’s Self-Directed Services has grown to 1,900 participants, and has participants throughout the state of Maryland, employing more than 5,500 people.
Growth in People
The Arc employs a staff of people who support every aspect of the organization, from direct service, operations, finance, branding, and infrastructure.
Today, The Arc employs just shy of 500 employees and, because of growth, is actively hiring for a wide variety of roles every day.
Growth in Programs
During the pandemic, we all recognized the need to better prioritize access to mental health services. That includes mental health counseling and services available for people with disabilities. With a small grant, The Arc formed a therapy group, Coping with COVID. What started as a small time-limited grant has now developed into a foundational, permanent program, Behavioral Health.
Since 2020, The Arc has expanded the program to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the region we serve, and growth plans include hiring an additional one clinical team member per quarter.
Growth & Expansion
The Arc has a deep commitment to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In response to community need, we are developing a new 24,000-square-foot Eastern Shores headquarters in Easton, MD, located on Port Street. This will be a first-of-its-kind community space that incorporates universal design and provides space for mental health counseling, innovative services, and nine affordable housing units to be managed by The Arc’s subsidiary, Chesapeake Neighbors.
By revitalizing and connecting Easton’s waterfront district to its thriving downtown via the Port Street corridor, the project will directly impact the local economy. In addition to the temporary construction jobs it will create, The Arc anticipates 35 new, full-time positions as part of the project.
As economic engines, nonprofit organizations help shape the long-term character and stability of the communities where we operate.