During the 2010 midterm election, a first of its kind study assessed–and ultimately affirmed–the agency-based approach to increasing voter participation. Conducted with the support of Nonprofit VOTE and the Michigan Nonprofit Association, this new research demonstrates the effectiveness of nonprofit voter engagement efforts.

The study found that:

  1. When a nonprofit talked to clients about voting, their likelihood of voting increased.
  2. The likelihood of a client voting increased proportionally with each additional voting-related contact made by the nonprofit.
  3. A nonprofit’s outreach efforts went beyond the individual they engaged–clients contacted about voting were also more likely to encourage their friends and family to vote.
  4. Among the types of voter assistance provided, registering new voters and offering voting reminders made the biggest difference in increasing voter turnout.

To learn more visit our research page and read the study factsheet. You can also watch our webinar “Nonprofits Increase Voter Participation: New Research from the Field,” download the PowerPoint Presentation, and read the full report.

We encourage you to share the study factsheet with staff, stakeholders, and other nonprofits in your network to spread the word about what nonprofits can and should do to help increase voter participation rates.

If your nonprofit is already doing voter outreach, we hope this groundbreaking research reaffirms that the work you’re doing makes a difference, particularly to your clients. And if you’re a nonprofit looking to get started, visit our website for resources and information on how to voterize your nonprofit!

The study, conducted with seven nonprofits in the Detroit area, was led by Dr. Kelly LeRoux, an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. LeRoux’s research has been published in more than a dozen public and nonprofit management journals, and she is currently working on a book titled “Nonprofits and Voter Mobilization in the U.S.”nonprofit!


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