Nonprofit Advocacy in the Era of Trump
Nonprofit Policy Forum
AbstractThe election of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race was said to result in an unprecedented surge in public support for nonprofit advocacy organizations. Given the cyclical nature of public attention to hard-to-solve social problems and the challenges associated with free-riding in collective action, a question arises as to the extent to which such elevated public support sustains itself over time. The purpose of this study is to examine whether local nonprofit advocacy groups
... advocacy groups experienced a post-election boost for public support and to what extent the increase, if any, sustained itself 18 months or longer after the election. Our study also explores various organizational incentives advocacy groups use to maintain support. We gather data from structured interviews of advocacy organizations in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Our findings suggest that many local advocacy groups did receive enhanced public support in the forms of volunteer requests, donations, and membership immediately after the election and the majority of them were able to retain the support over time. Normative organizational incentives were predominantly used to recruit and retain supporters, while utilitarian incentives, similar to Olson's selective private benefits, were not commonly adopted.