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Campaigning

  • Award-winning photographer to judge charity pictures

    NCVO and PhotoVoice have announced the launch of the NCVO Members’ Photography Competition 2015. The competition is open to service users, staff and volunteers at organisations which are NCVO members, and looks for photographs which communicate the difference that members are making to their communities.

  • Campaigning and lobbying standards group announced

    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.

  • Campaigning, volunteering and public trust among NCVO’s priorities in new five-year strategy

    Defending the rights of voluntary organisations to campaign and safeguarding public trust and confidence in charities are among the priorities outlined in NCVO’s new strategic plan, launched today.

    The five-year strategy follows a consultation with NCVO members last year, and will take NCVO to its centenary year, 2019.

  • Charities welcome new grants standards

    Charities have welcomed substantial changes to the government's planned 'anti-lobbying clause', announced today.

  • Comment on lobbying bill report stage vote

    Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

    'I'm pleased that peers supported Lord Harries' amendment on staff costs. Accounting for staff costs remains a particularly problematic part of this bill, as well as constituency limits and the rules on campaigning in coalition. We would like to see further movement on these.

  • Government confirms support for charity tax reliefs following work by NCVO and CFG

    Before the budget, NCVO and Charity Finance Group wrote a joint letter to David Gauke asking the government to retain the current 80% mandatory relief on business rates for charities. We have now received a welcome response which confirms the decision in the budget to maintain this important relief. We spent lots of time talking to Treasury officials about the impact a reduction in this relief would have, and we are pleased that they have recognised this, and the value of the voluntary sector.

  • Government to amend lobbying bill following pressure from charities

    Welcoming the changes to the lobbying bill, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which first raised concerns about the bill, said:

    ‘Much of the risk to charities from this legislation has now been averted.

  • Lobbying bill - NCVO statement

    Following the government's agreement to abandon its plan to change what constitutes non-party campaigning, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

    'The government’s commitment to abandon the change to the test of what constitutes non-party campaigning is a significant step in the right direction. When the new wording is published we will take legal advice and also urgently seek the view of the Electoral Commission, to ensure the revised test meets the spirit and the letter of policy intent set out by government.

  • Lobbying bill amendments do not go far enough. Joint statement from NCVO and ACEVO

    Responding to the publication of the government’s amendments, Sir Stuart Etherington, CEO of NCVO said:

    "The government’s commitment to address the legitimate concerns of many charities and other voluntary organisations remains welcome, however, the proposed amendments do not go far enough.

  • Lobbying bill puts charities in fear of criminal prosecution, says top QC

    Advice from a top election law QC has confirmed charities’ fears over proposals in the government’s lobbying bill, due to get its second reading in the Commons tomorrow (today).

  • Lobbying report is 'woefully ignorant' of charities' right to campaign

    The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has today responded to Christopher Snowdon’s report Sock Puppets: How the government lobbies itself and why. The report, which has been published today, suggests that charities in receipt of government funding should not be allowed to lobby and often do not have widespread public support.

  • Lobbying transparency bill – NCVO response

    Responding to the government’s lobbying bill published today, Karl Wilding, director of public policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

    "This is a missed opportunity to restore some trust in politics. People have a right to know who is trying to influence policy and why. The best way to achieve full transparency is with a universal register, run by an independent body, linked to a clear code of conduct.

  • NCVO in ‘Christmas appeal’ to peers on lobbying bill

    NCVO chief executive, Sir Stuart Etherington, has written to peers ahead of the committee stage of the lobbying bill this week, asking them to back key amendments to protect charities and community groups from the potential impact of the bill.

  • NCVO responds to the Lobbying Act consultation

    Devising laws that protect legitimate campaigning while guarding against undue influence is a delicate balancing act. NCVO does not believe that the Lobbying Act as it stands strikes the right balance. Further consideration of the types of activities covered, a reduction of the length of the regulated period, and the removal of constituency limits and staff costs are all needed to reduce the administrative burden on voluntary organisations.

  • NCVO response to lobbying bill amendments announcement

    Karl Wilding, director of public policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

    "The government made a commitment to ensure that normal campaigning is not inadvertently impacted by this rushed legislation. We will be taking legal advice on the proposed amendments when they are published to determine whether they have met this commitment. We will also discuss them with our members.

  • NCVO seeks urgent legal advice over government campaigning proposals

    Charities, led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), have written to Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith to express serious concerns over proposals in the lobbying and transparency bill which would dramatically limit their ability to speak out on issues affecting the people and causes they support.

  • NCVO statement on government announcement of anti-advocacy clauses

    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.

  • NCVO: Brexit will be large part of general election debate

    Commenting on the announcement of the general election, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

    We will be using the coming weeks to remind politicians of all parties of the crucial role of charities and volunteering in our national life. We know that, with the right conditions, charities can make an even bigger difference.

    Brexit is going to be a very big part of the election debate. Charities have many interests in Brexit negotiations, for example on freedom of movement and staffing. Now is the time to make the case for policies and positions that would be best for them and the people they work for.

  • Put charities and volunteers at the heart of local elections

    Local councillors are being encouraged to get behind charities and volunteers in their areas by following the recommendations outlined in a new NCVO local elections briefing. 

    Aimed at prospective local representatives, ahead of the elections later this month, NCVO’s recommendations include:

    • Councils should split large public service contracts into smaller packages to allow a greater diversity of organisations to bid.
    • Councils should take advantage of new light-touch EU procurement rules to allow for more innovative approaches.
    • Councillors should push the social value agenda in their areas.

    Councillors should ask how their council is promoting volunteering – pushing for a clear volunteering strategy.

    You can read our full election briefing (PDF, 60KB) , and also read Justin’s blog post on the importance of partnerships between voluntary groups and local authorities.

    Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

  • Sector leaders set out expectations for anti-advocacy 'pause'

    There must be clear and comprehensive consultation on the anti-advocacy clause and on any proposed changes to it, NCVO, Acevo and SEUK said today.

    In a joint statement, the sector bodies said:

    The government's pause on implementation of the anti-advocacy clause is a welcome move and we are pleased that they have acknowledged the need for further review.

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