Campaigning and lobbying standards group announced
- Thursday, 26 September 2013 16:42
NCVO today (Thursday 26 September) announced the make-up of the group that will create the first ever set of standards for charity campaigning and lobbying.
The standards will set out high-level principles for good practice in campaigning and lobbying, which will be augmented by practical guidance and worked examples. The move will ensure charities are able to demonstrate that they work to high standards.
The announcement that NCVO would create campaigning and lobbying standards for charities followed the unveiling of the government’s proposed register of lobbyists, which would cover neither charity public affairs staff nor the vast majority of those in similar roles in other sectors. The guidance is expected to cover issues including conflicts of interest, transparency, accountability, and political neutrality.
The group, which represents a range of experienced campaigners from diverse organisations, will meet for the first time next month, with the aim of publishing the standards in March 2014. The group drawing up the standards will be supported by a wider reference group of charity campaign staff.
Commenting, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:
“I believe that the voluntary sector should be setting a gold standard in transparency and accountability. It’s crucial to long-term public trust that we do so and we are seen to do so. Several organisations have told us it would be helpful to have quality guidance in this area. When we saw the paucity of the lobbying register proposals we decided it was time for us to act on this. I hope our standards will be stretching but achievable for the whole sector.”
Group member, Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, said:
“This is a helpful and constructive move. It is impossible to overstate the value of public trust to everything that charities of all kinds do. Anything we can do to reinforce and demonstrate our standards is worthwhile. I hope we can create standards that will be respected and recognised within the sector and beyond.”
The standards group members are:
- Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive, NCVO (chair)
- Hilary Allison, policy director, Woodland Trust
- Jonathan Breckon, manager, Alliance for Useful Evidence, NESTA
- Helen Cameron, head of public affairs, Salvation Army
- Angela Kitching, head of public affairs, Age UK
- Sara Llewellin, chief executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust
- Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns, Mind
- Chris Simpkins, director general, The Royal British Legion
- Neil Sinden, director of policy and campaigns, Campaign to Protect Rural England
- Chris West, head of media and public affairs, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research
- James White, campaigns manager, Guide Dogs for the Blind
NCVO represents the charity and voluntary sector, with over 10,000 members, from the biggest household name charities to the smallest community groups.