The new face of donors: pocketbook activists

With the rise of the Trump Administration, millions of people are scrutinizing companies’ political positions and either protesting or supporting those companies with their wallets. This recent shift toward activism has led to a rise of so-called Pocketbook Activists, people who support or boycott certain businesses because of political stance or policy, and then shift their money elsewhere. Uber and Nordstrom are two great recent examples of this type of activism.

We are currently seeing these activists exhibiting interesting shifts in behavior. The Lincoln Park Strategies group has been studying donor behavior in relationship to the 2016 American presidential election and the results are illuminating.

The second bar graph is a particularly interesting behavior switch. Essentially, people are moving what are disposable dollars and turning them into donation dollars, allowing nonprofits to leverage this behavior to attract new donors or re-engage existing donors.

Corporate boycotts, donating to nonprofits, and spending money at business that support your own views are all behaviors that we can expect to continue and even increase. As more and more companies take public stances on political issues, they will have to face the consequences of an active consumer base that is spending its money very selectively.


image source Markgraf-Ave in Pixabay