Data and Facts about the Nonprofit Sector
There is still little data on the non-profit sector in Austria. There are two main reasons for this: NPOs do not have a legal form of their own in Austria and are therefore - without appropriate background knowledge - not so easy to identify. This means that even where they are recorded in official statistics, they cannot easily be distinguished from other organisations. Other NPOs, on the other hand, are almost not recorded statistically at all. This is the case, for example, with many associations that do not have paid employees and only very small budgets and therefore do not appear in economic statistics. According to Statistics Austria (2018), there were about 124,000 associations in Austria in 2018), of which about 87,000 (Litofcenko, Karner, Maier 2019) are active according to a WU study. The majority of these associations are merely listed in the Central Register of Associations, which, apart from the number and the state in which they are registered, does not contain any significant structural features of the associations that would be helpful in assessing the size of the sector.
Together with researchers from WU (Pennerstorfer, Schneider, Reitzinger 2015), Statistics Austria has identified NPOs from the business register in a complex procedure. It includes all those NPOs that have at least one employee. In 2006, a full survey was conducted among the 5,104 NPOs and in 2014/15 a sample survey was carried out, in which 2,413 NPOs were contacted, of which 831 returned a largely completed questionnaire. The majority of NPOs were associations (75.6%), followed by public-law legal forms (10.6%) and non-profit limited liability companies (6.7%), limited liability companies (3.9%), foundations / funds / institutions (1.8%) and other legal forms (1.4%).
Based on the data, an extrapolation was made for the number of employees in Austria's NPOs. According to this, a total of 215,000 employees (dependent) were employed in Austria's NPOs in 2014, most of them in social services (38%), homes (26%) and education (19%). If freelancers and persons with contracts for work are also included, the number of employees increases to about 236,400, and a number of about 507,000 volunteers has been projected. However, it should be noted that only those organisations with at least one paid employee are included here. However, the majority of the associations are based exclusively on volunteer work. According to the Austria's 2019 Volunteer Report (Freiwilligenbericht 2019), around 2.3 million volunteers are involved in organisations in Austria.
On the basis of the data, revenues of the NPOs were estimated at 4.16 billion euros. The bulk of the revenues (3.2 billion) is accounted for by sales, although this category also includes performance-related payments from public authorities.