New Poll Shows Voters Want Candidates to Work with and Support Nonprofits

62% of registered voters are more likely to support candidates that promise to work with nonprofit organizations; Strong majority also support candidates that advance policies that help nonprofits serve their communities

(WASHINGTON, October 24, 2019) – Independent Sector commissioned a poll of more than 1,000 registered voters and found that the majority would be more likely to support political candidates who work closely with and support nonprofit organizations.

In fact, 62% of voters would be more likely to vote for a candidate who promises to work more closely with charities and nonprofits and to include them in the policymaking process. This includes a near majority (49%) of Republicans and an overwhelming majority (74%) of Democrats. Only 14% of voters would be less likely to support such a candidate.

The poll also found that voters don’t just want a candidate who will listen to our sector, they want that candidate to be a champion for the sector. Sixty-eight percent of registered voters would be more likely to support a candidate that advanced policies to help charities and nonprofits serve their communities, including 36% who would be much more likely. Only 9% of voters would be negatively influenced by such a stance.

“We are happy to see the voting public supports candidates engaging with nonprofits,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “While trust in institutions continues to dip across the country, this is a clear indication that nonprofits remain a trusted voice for our communities and that all candidates should be regularly engaging civil society to inform their own policy decisions.”

Further, registered voters aged 18-24 are the most supportive age group on presidential candidates engaging nonprofits. Seventy-nine percent would support a candidate who will work with nonprofits and 81% support a candidate advancing policies that will help nonprofits.

As a national nonprofit organization representing a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs, Independent Sector believes we have a responsibility and unique role to engage candidates who may make critical decisions impacting our organizations and our communities. For candidates, this connection is not only about informing their positions, but also about the critical role nonprofits play in implementing policies in the future.

We publicly launched our nonpartisan candidate engagement work for the 2020 election cycle in September by sending out a questionnaire to all presidential candidates. We will continue to engage in a nonpartisan way through 2020 as we seek to educate and understand how the candidates plan to support our work as elected officials.

Learn more about the latest poll on candidates and nonprofit engagement at


Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations working to ensure all people in the United States thrive. Learn more at

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: Administration, Civil Society, Congress, Data, Election, Public Policy