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Poll: Voters want Congress to strengthen nonprofits

Written on Sep 28, 2022

Independent Sector recently released public polling results reflecting the views of registered voters on a wide range of topics related to nonprofits and public policy. The results provide valuable insight into the landscape of public opinion ahead of the midterm elections – about charitable giving policy, federal representation of the nonprofit sector, our sector’s role in the community, and how the public engages with nonprofits. 

The findings are clear. The public continues to see value in the nonprofit sector and the role it plays in society. Voters in the United States want to see nonprofits better resourced through charitable giving, more represented in policy conversations, and more actively engaged in civic engagement in the communities they serve.  

Voters value nonprofit advocacy, are more likely to support an organization that helps them advocate or that advocates for their community, and are willing to help nonprofits make decisions about their public policy work.  

Key Takeaways: 

  • 85% of voters support restoring the universal charitable deduction permanently for all taxpayers, including 45% of voters who strongly support this giving incentive. 

  • Over three quarters of voters (77%) support expanding the universal charitable deduction to up to $4,000 for all Americans. 

  • Among the nearly two-thirds of Americans (60%) who are very concerned about inflation or experiencing economic stress in the next six months to a year, 49% are planning to donate less this year than last year, significantly higher than the 24% for voters as a whole. 

  • 84% of voters think that the government could better solve problems facing local communities if nonprofits had an official seat at the table. 

  • Over two-thirds of voters (71%) agree that nonprofits and policymakers need to receive regular data about the nonprofit sector workforce, compared to only 9% who disagree. 

  • 70% of voters support stopping and rethinking the 1023-EZ process for establishing nonprofit organizations with 36% expressing strong support. 

  • 7 in 10 voters (72%) think it is a good idea for charities and other organizations to help members of their community vote. 

  • 9 in 10 voters (92%) support local charities educating policymakers about the needs of the communities they serve. 

  • Over 6 in 10 voters are more likely to support or donate to a nonprofit organization that helped them advocate for an issue they care about (68%), or that advocated for an issue impacting their community (64%). 

  • 62% of voters are likely to volunteer with a nonprofit to help them make decisions about their public policy work.