NCVO and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) are passionate about the role that sector leaders, charities, and volunteers play in building a better society. However, we think this role has been undervalued in recent years.

Charities have been recognised as crucial to the pandemic response and addressing the cost of living crisis. The sector has received support from government as a result. Some charities have been welcomed into decision-making processes. But many haven’t had this opportunity.

We think government policy should involve the full range of civil society.

What we’re doing

The manifesto will present a range of ways the next government can work with charities to make a positive difference.

We don’t expect government to accept every policy recommendation made by a charity. It would also be impossible to represent everything that our sector can offer. However, we do want the next government to put engagement with civil society at the heart of policy development, and treat charities as a serious partner.

Our main goal is for political parties to involve more voices in the policymaking process. Parties should consider whether they’re listening to the people most impacted by the decisions and plans made by government. Particularly underrepresented and marginalised voices.

We believe this will lead to more informed and responsive approaches and better outcomes.

We’ve engaged NCVO and ACEVO members and the wider charity sector to develop five key manifesto themes. This paper outlines our thinking so far, our key asks, and some questions for feedback.

Charity sector policy achievements

Charities make a huge impact when they’re involved in policymaking. For example:

We want to see more charities involved in making policy. By involving charities, government can help make sure people with lived experience are involved in decision-making.

The process so far

To get to this stage we consulted with our members, both online and in-person. You told us what you wanted us to include and whether we had the right themes. Many of the ideas you suggested are in this paper.

We've been gathering further feedback from members and the wider sector on this discussion paper.

Thank you if you took the time to share your thoughts. Your responses will help shape the final manifesto which will be shared with MPs and parliamentarians.

Sign up for email updates for news on the next stages of the manifesto.

You may also be interested in our new political campaigning guidance for charities.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 16 February 2024