Research in cognitive psychology confirms that policy decisions are made with the heart, not the brain. How do we make sure we’re effectively using values, not just data, to appeal to people’s emotions and build support for our policy issues?
To answer this question, Independent Sector commissioned research from TargetPoint Consulting to examine how nonprofit leaders can use values-based messages to advocate successfully for charitable giving tax incentives. This research provides insight into key advocacy tactics, including:
- General voter support for charitable giving and tax incentives to spur more giving;
- Recruiting the most effective nonprofit messengers for policymakers and voters;
- When to deploy popular versus persuasive values-based messages about charitable giving; and
- How to target messages for Republican and Democrat audiences.
In particular, this research can help advocates develop targeted, two-tiered messages that can build support for tax policies to promote charitable giving.
As a result, we will be better equipped to demonstrate to policymakers the widespread popularity of our organizations and this issue among their constituents. We also can use emotional, values-based appeals to make the case that extending giving incentives to all Americans is needed, regardless of the effects of the 2017 tax bill.