Almost Half of Americans Who Donate to Political Campaigns Are Unaware of Online Processing Fees

Over two in five report finding out that smaller donations are subject to more processing fees will make them less likely to donate

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Rachel Martin Senior Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Washington, DC, November 25, 2019 — According to the latest Ipsos poll, carried out on behalf of Newsy, 17% of Americans have made political donations in the past three election cycles. Among them, 45% were unaware of the online processing fees applied to their donations. Upon learning that smaller donation amounts are subject to higher fees, 44% say this information will lead them to make fewer donations, and 38% say it will lead them to make larger donations.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 21-24, 2019 on behalf of Newsy. For this survey, a sample of roughly 2,010 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S. Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 320 people who have made a donation to a political candidate at any level in the 2020, 2018, or 2016 campaign cycles. Among that group, there are 168 Democrats and 119 Republicans.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,010, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-4.0 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 6.2 percentage points for people who have made political donations during the past three election cycles, and plus or minus 8.6 percentage points for  Democrats who have made political donations and plus or minus 10.2 percentage points for Republicans who have made recent political donations.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP



The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Rachel Martin Senior Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs