2020 Presidential Candidate Engagement

Independent Sector

Engaging candidates on issues important to our organizations and communities during election season is a powerful way to ensure they prioritize those issues once in office.  At a national level, leaders–including the President of the United States–must understand public policy issues impacting the work of nonprofits. Our sector is an economic powerhouse, a trusted source of information, and an essential partner for any policymaker with big goals.

Even if a candidate isn’t yet worried about how they will govern, they would be wise to pay attention to nonprofits for another reason: voters want them to. Independent Sector-sponsored polling in 2019 demonstrates that voters would be much more likely to support a candidate who pledged to work with and on behalf of the nonprofit sector.

Beginning in 2019, Independent Sector engaged ALL presidential candidates through a request for information and campaign staff forum, which we held at Upswell in Chicago.  Our goal is to educate 2020 presidential candidates on sector-wide policy issues and demonstrate best practices for nonpartisan candidate engagement.  Below you’ll find the results of our own efforts and resources for you to do the same.

Meet the Candidates

In anticipation of the 2020 election, Independent Sector sent a questionnaire to every presidential candidate inquiring about issues critical to the nonprofit sector.  Below is a list of all major party candidates who are currently in the race. You’ll find questionnaires and video responses from the candidates who submitted them, as well as links to each candidate’s website so that you can do your own research.

In July 2020, Independent Sector sent a second letter to the Biden and Trump campaigns encouraging them to engage the nonprofit sector in the development of public policies and their administration plans.


Joe Biden (D)
Campaign Website
Did not respond


Donald Trump (R)
Campaign Website

Did not respond

The following candidates completed the questionnaire, but are no longer in the race.

Independent Sector is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization and we do not endorse or oppose any candidate for public office.



Engaging Voters

Your mission might not be directly related to advocacy or elections — but it’s still critical for your organization to have a voter engagement plan! Learn why (and how you can get a plan in place).

Learn More


Engaging Candidates

Candidates for public office are often the most accessible and open to hearing new ideas during an election.  Here are nonpartisan activities nonprofits can do to build productive working relationships with candidates. 

Learn More

Global Topics: Civil Society, Election, Public Policy
Policy Issues: Lobbying & Political Activity, Political Activity Rules
Resource Types: Toolkit