INTRODUCTION “Community benefit” (CB) is described in a revenue ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that justifies the tax-exempt status of nonprofit hospitals and requires these hospitals to provide community services. According to the instructions for IRS form 990, schedule H, CB spans a wide array of potential activities, varying from clinical services, to research, to community outreach and workforce education . As the nation continues to make changes to the health care delivery system, the contributions of nonprofit health care organizations to the community will likely remain a charged topic, one warranting empirical evidence to enhance understanding. Rigorous studies about CB can provide a more complete picture of its structure, management, and effectiveness, as well as its impact on the social, economic, and health status of the community. Frontline hospital administrators are striving to make the implementation of CB programs driven more by evidence of effectiveness than by dollar requirements or historical trends. Health care executives, policy analysts, and researchers all express an increased interest in data pertaining to CB.