Mary Jane Rynd,  Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

by Mary Jane Rynd

This time of year, with the roll-up to Arizona Gives Day next month, there’s a tremendous focus on fundraising for nonprofits. Asa community, we need to recognize that this hardly defines nonprofits’ participation in our economy — as businesses that provide employment and generate revenue.

We all know that nonprofits generate tremendous social good. However, many may not appreciate the economic impact generated by Arizona’s nonprofit sector. The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits partnered with the Seidman Research Institute within the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, and The Phoenix Philanthropy Group to conduct some research on just how much our nonprofit sector matters. The results are stunning: Nonprofits are the fifth largest non-government employers in Arizona — more than or on par with retail, construction, wholesale and manufacturing employers. They employ close to 200,000 people and pay wages in excess of $8 billion annually. Further, nonprofits generate $2.1 billion in state and local taxes and $23.5 billion dollars in Gross State Product. We are fortunate to have such a robust nonprofit sector that is committed to improve lives in myriad ways for Arizonans. 

This is a big topic. I get to talk about it more in the cover story. In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh reached out to me and several other leaders of funding organizations to be able to share a broad picture of the economic impact of nonprofits. And she also includes an organization that supports nonprofits other than financially, plus one of our larger employers (a nonprofit itself). The Feedback feature takes the story further, asking diverse nonprofits to share their impact experience. 

All businesses can extend their own reach through strategic partnerships, and this is what Dan Varroney discusses in feature article “Light This Candle.” His point is that, as the world continues to reel from COVID-19 and supply chain issues and countless industries struggle in chronic uncertainty, leveraging all avenues means that industries need to look beyond traditional growth solutions. 

And whether the organization is selling its product or services to customers or its mission to donors, a basic function they all need covered is sales. But the employee shortage we hear so much about extends to this as well. So, another timely and important read is this month’s feature, “Why Businesses Shouldn’t Lower Their Standards when Hiring Salespeople,” by Dr. Christopher Croner. 

Discussing what he terms a wake-up call around payment reporting, attorney Marc Lamber examines “New Tax Rule Targets Businesses That Accept Payment through Apps” in the Economy feature. And Dr. Scott Edmonds’ “Three Tips to Help Block Blue Light in an Increasingly Remote World” in the Healthcare feature, may be another wake-up — as the use of digital devices has surged significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Americans logging an average of 13 hours per day watching screens.

The Special Section this month brings us full circle back to nonprofits. It is In Business Magazine’s annual Giving Guide, to help the for-profit community prepare its support of Arizona Gives Day, coming up on April 5 and 6.

With its wide range of content, In Business Magazine strives to help strengthen our business community. I’m pleased to help bring you this March edition, and hope you enjoy the read.


Mary Jane Rynd
President and CEO
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Mary Jane Rynd joined Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust in 2001. A CPA (Ret), she was a partner with KPMG and also Rynd, Carneal & Ewing. A member of Greater Phoenix Leadership serving on the Arts and Culture Task Force, she is also on the Rosenbluth Family Charitable Foundation board. She holds a BA in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and a Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.

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