Public Awareness Campaign Highlights the Importance of Nonprofit Charities

General support to strengthen the effectiveness of the nation's private, nonprofit charitable institutions

From 1996 to 1999, the Independent Sector in Washington developed a public awareness campaign to highlight the work and accomplishments of nonprofit organizations.

The Independent Sector is a national coalition of about 800 nonprofit members that works to promote the nonprofit and philanthropic community in fostering private initiative for the public good.

In the mid-1990s, the Independent Sector developed a Public Policy Initiative called "Giving Voice to Your Heart" in response to proposals by federal legislators to restrict contributions to nonprofits that could be used for lobbying and to eliminate tax deductions for charitable contributions. The campaign was part of this initiative.

Key Results

  • Project staff developed five information toolkits that addressed:
    • Working with the media.
    • Recruiting volunteers.
    • Building public trust.
    • Fund-raising and grantmaking.
    • An array of information about the nonprofit sector.
  • More than 10,000 copies of the toolkits were distributed to member organizations and members of "Let America Speak," a coalition of nonprofit charities.
  • The Independent Sector recruited 19 new state or city nonprofit coalitions to participate as partners in the Public Policy Initiative, and distributed grants ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 to help them disseminate the campaign's message.