Press releases

10 February 2016

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister

Anti-advocacy clauses

We are writing following the publication of Cabinet Office guidelines to prohibit organisations in receipt of grant funding from influencing government or parliament. The proposed guidance would prevent the use of funding to inform public policy and bans organisations also from discussing issues related to the work funded by the grant with government officials or parliamentarians.  

Responding to the announcement by Matthew Hancock, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO said:

'Charities provide vital insights and expertise which improve policy-making and often help save or better target tax payers' money. Charities are already subject to charity law and guidance on campaigning that does not permit party-political campaigning.

Events are being planned across the country to mark Volunteers' Week 2016, taking place 1-12 June. The annual campaign, which was established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. This year it has been extended by an additional five days, enabling more people than ever to take part.

Commenting on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee report into Kids Company, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

I’m pleased the committee recognise that Kids Company was an aberration among charities, and that its poor practices should not tarnish charities as a whole.

Commenting on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee report, 'The 2015 charity fundraising controversy: lessons for trustees, the Charity Commission, and regulators', Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, and chair of the review of fundraising self-regulation, said:

I am pleased the committee have backed the proposals we made in the review of fundraising self-regulation. I believe they are a proportionate and effective way to give the public confidence that charities are taking their responsibility to operate to high standards seriously.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and PhotoVoice, a charity promoting the ethical use of photography for positive change, are inviting entries to their annual charity photo competition. Now in its sixth year, the competition is open to all staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries of NCVO members.

With a theme of connections, entries to the competition should depict a form of connection that charities make – from connections between people, to a cause, or to an activity. The competition will be open until 18 March.

Research carried out by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has found that voluntary organisations such as cancer charities, homeless shelters and advice services have experienced greater demand for their services as a result of welfare reforms.

The report reflects on the experiences of voluntary organisations and the extent to which the government’s objectives of simplifying the benefits system, protecting the most vulnerable and incentivising work are being met.

Martyn Lewis, NCVO’s chair of trustees, has been awarded a knighthood for services to the voluntary sector, particularly the hospice movement, in the 2016 new year's honours.

Martyn Lewis, chair of NCVO, said:

NCVO’s board believe the fundraising self-regulation review is an important step forward for the sector and are keen to see its recommendations put into practice. To that end, we have asked NCVO staff to provide secretariat support to the fundraising preference service working group.

Commenting for today’s Times story, Martyn Lewis, chair of NCVO, said:

Britain’s best-loved charities are serious, professional organisations responsible for raising and prudently spending hundreds of millions a year on their good work. For an average household name charity, less than one per cent of its spending goes on senior staff pay, which is a sensible amount in order to ensure the charity is well-run and effective. Their executive salaries are typically much smaller than for comparable roles in other sectors.

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