United for Charity


In early 2016, Independent Sector commissioned research to understand American voter perception of the charitable sector. The research, which included two voter focus groups as well as a national phone survey of 1,300 voters, is summarized in a new report, United for Charity.

Specifically, the research found that:

  • A strong majority of voters (78 percent), when provided background information on the sector, support a bigger role for the charitable sector in working with the federal government to produce more effective and efficient solutions to problems.
  • Seventy percent of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports policies that help the charitable sector become more involved in government policy making.
  • About 88 percent believe we should make it easier for people to deduct charitable contributions from their taxes.
  • An overwhelming majority (85 percent) believe charitable groups and nonprofits should operate under the same set of rules and regulations as everyone else in the policymaking space.
  • About 74 percent trust charities with their checkbooks over the federal government and want to see expanded access to charitable giving.

Independent Sector used this information to do proactive outreach to the presidential campaigns during the 2016 election cycle. The aim was to further educate the campaigns on the role and strength of the charitable sector and for the charitable sector to have a seat at the table shaping the next administration’s policy agenda. We will continue to use this information in our public policy outreach with all policymakers and we hope it is useful in your own public policy and advocacy efforts.



United for Charity
Full Report

Independent Sector’s report, United for Charity, delves into the results of bipartisan polling of voters across the country and demonstrates the exceptionally support among voters for increasing collaboration between the government and the charitable sector and for expanding incentives for charitable giving.

Read Now



United for Charity Infographic

United for Charity includes detailed insights from bipartisan polling of voters across the country. Compiled in this infographic are the most compelling points.

Read Now

How You Can Use This Data

This data is for you. The work of nonprofit and charitable organizations spans the country, impacting every community and bringing deep expertise to many of the most challenging problems facing our society today. This breadth of engagement compels the charitable sector to take a more active role in partnering with government to find solutions to these problems.

Please use our communications toolkit to help spread the word about this work. Start using messaging and data in your own communications and public policy efforts. And please let us know what you think. Send us your feedback and give us ideas about how else we can help you use this data to strengthen the voice of the charitable community.

Questions? Please email publicpolicy@independentsector.org.

Key Insights

Related Resources