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The nonprofit sector is an important means through which public services are delivered and national goals addressed. The federal government increasingly relies on networks, often involving nonprofits that address many issues--health care, education, and human services, for example. Because nonprofit organizations play a key role as partners with the federal government, there is a need to better understand the sector. This testimony (1) provides a picture of the nonprofit sector--its size, composition, and role in the economy; (2) discusses how and why the federal government partners with the sector; and (3) identifies issues related to the sector as a federal partner that need to be better understood. GAO's preliminary work on this topic focused on the intersection of nonprofit organizations and the federal government, including trends, the use of federal funding, and emerging issues. GAO interviewed key experts from relevant associations and academia, reviewed related research, and hosted roundtable discussions with key researchers and practitioners in the nonprofit area.

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