Election year! With an ever-increasing media frenzy surrounding the US presidential campaigns in 2016, more airtime, column inches and internet pixels being given over to reporting on the election and the candidates – will non-profit organizations be left to fend for themselves?
Do Political Donations Take Away from Charitable Donations?
Thankfully, that’s not the case. There have been a number of studies in recent months to track the value of political donations, which are increasing every day, and it looks like the value of charitable donations is on the up as well. With the presidential election set to cost a whopping $5 billion, many charities and non-profits were asking whether or not there was cause for alarm and whether there would be a significant drop in donations in 2016.
A survey conducted by Dunham and Company shows that many people will still continue to donate to charity in 2016. In fact 79% of donors said they would continue to support charitable causes and organizations this year.
Does Politics Help or Hinder Charity?
If a politician throws their weight behind a charitable cause, does it help by driving more people to donate to the charity, or could it possibly have the opposite effect, by in some way tainting the organization with perceived political maneuvering? It’s an interesting question, and one that comes up time and again when foundations, trusts and non-profit organizations are planning their campaigns and their fundraising efforts. While having a celebrity, or powerful person can have an extremely positive effect on increasing donations and awareness of a specific campaign, it can also have negative consequences if the celebrity or political endorsement falls afoul of an increasingly fickle media and public.
Choose Alliances with Care
Alliances and partnerships have to be chosen with care. Leaning one way or the other, politically at least, may have disastrous consequences for a charity. It is far better to keep campaigning based on the importance of the charity, rather than the importance of the ‘face’ of the charity.
It’s interesting to note that the same aforementioned survey by Dunham and Company shows that the biggest factor in whether donors will repeat and even increase their donations to a charity is how they are treated after they make the donation. Despite media hype and sensationalization on the internet, something as simple as a telephone call to thank your important donors can make all the difference in terms of whether they will donate again next year.