Givers Divided on Whether House Majority Means Faster Recovery

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Newly released data from a nationally recognized tracking poll shows U.S. donors hesitate to believe that a faster economic recovery will follow any shift in the balance of power in Congress.

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This poll suggests that it will take more than a shift in congressional power to drive greater economic recovery in the nonprofit sector.

Charitable donors hesitate to believe a faster economic recovery will follow any shift in the balance of power in Congress, according to a recent poll released by independent research firm Campbell Rinker.

While 31% of donors believe that having a conservative majority in the House of Representatives will have a positive effect on the nation’s economic recovery, 27% of the donors polled believe it would have a negative effect. Another 28% are unsure what economic impact the coming election will bring, and 13% say that a conservative majority will have no effect. Results among likely voters mirrored the overall response.

“Four in ten donors are either unsure of what this election means economically, or think a conservative wave washing into the House will have no impact on the U.S. recovery,” said Campbell Rinker president Dirk Rinker. “More than a quarter of the donors think a conservative tide is bad news. In the coming months, these donors are the ones who will more likely hesitate before giving. Unfortunately, the longer they hesitate, the less likely they are to resume giving as they did before the recession hit.”

“This poll suggests that it will take more than a shift in congressional power to drive greater economic recovery in the nonprofit sector,” Rinker concludes.

Donors were evenly divided in their expectations for economic recovery, with one-third expecting a rebound within 12 months, another third thinking recovery would require one to two years, and the same proportion saying longer than two years.

As might be expected, the poll results skew heavily along party lines. None of the self-described liberals feel a conservative majority would help the recovery, while 71% believe the economy will need longer to rebound with a conservative majority. Conversely, 65% of conservatives believe a Republican House would speed up the recovery, with three percent saying that having their own party in power would prolong the recession. Among moderates, the largest group (37%) was unsure about the economic effect of a resurgent conservative base, while a significant 27% expected the effect would be negative. Only 17% of moderates expected a positive impact. Moderates were the group most likely to foresee no effect on the economy resulting from a Republican majority in the House.

The poll of 386 donors carries a margin of error of ±5.0% at the 95% confidence level and was conducted online from October 20-25. Respondents had to have given $25 or more in the most recent 12 months to qualify.

Campbell Rinker has carefully tracked donor confidence since the financial sector meltdown of 2008 and has spent two decades studying the attitudes and perceptions of donors, alumni and members for major nonprofit clients.

More about Campbell Rinker’s Donor Confidence Report can be found at this link:
http://www.campbellrinker.com/reports/DCR.html

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