Our asks

Engage charities in policy making

Processes for engaging charities should be embedded in policy making.

We want the government to:

  • commit to establishing a civil society charter. The charter should support charities to work effectively with government.
  • develop a civil society engagement strategy. This will support the delivery of the civil society charter. The strategy should be underpinned by cross-government collaboration between ministers and officials. It should outline each department's responsibility for voluntary sector engagement. It should also include a quarterly forum with the Treasury.
  • work cooperatively with the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The government should reach a consensus on cross-UK issues, rather than imposing solutions from Westminster.

Ensure fair and sustainable partnerships

Government should work with charities as a true partner in public service design and delivery.

We want the government to:

  • prioritise collaboration over competition in public service delivery. Specific guidance should be developed to ensure people-centred public services are commissioned. This should support collaboration, learning, flexibility and a focus on impact.
  • create a dedicated role in the cabinet office to oversee the state of the public service market.
  • invest in public services and local government. This will make sure charities have enough funding to deliver quality services on behalf of the government.

Make sure every voice is heard

We want the government to:

  • protect the rights to freedom of assembly and expression.
  • reform electoral law so that everyone eligible to vote can take part in elections and engage in public debate. Introduce new legislation to:
    • abolish the requirement to show voter ID
    • restore the Electoral Commission’s independence
    • reform the rules for non-party campaigners.

      This will ensure greater transparency and prevent undue influence.

Build strong and resilient communities

We want the government to:

  • provide a successor to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and build on the Community Wealth Fund. This will help provide locally led funding in deprived areas. It should be designed in partnership with charities and devolved administrations.
  • develop a strategy to support and direct investment in social infrastructure – the spaces and places that connect us.
  • introduce a Community Power Act to establish new community rights.

Place value on volunteers

We want the government to:

  • adopt the cross-sector Vision for Volunteering. The Vision sets out a roadmap to address barriers to volunteering in England.
  • provide backing for key volunteering campaigns, such as Volunteers’ Week and The Big Help Out.
  • introduce a right to request paid leave for volunteering and enable reasonable time off for trustee duties. This will support skilled volunteering. School governors are already entitled to time off work.
  • guarantee everyone claiming benefits can volunteer. They should be able to volunteer without fear of their benefits being taken away.

Support a thriving charity sector

We want the government to:

  • improve the tax system for charities.
    • Introduce 0% VAT for charities
    • Extend charitable rate relief to wholly-owned charity trading subsidiaries
  • develop a thriving voluntary workforce. Work with the sector to address barriers across skills, education and migration
  • protect the independence of the Charity Commission. Ensure the public appointments process encourages fair competition and select the most qualified candidates
  • support charities to prepare for the transition to net zero.

Make public giving easier

We want the government to:

  • appoint a ‘philanthropy champion’ to encourage more philanthropy. This role should lead the government’s approach to philanthropy and promote match funding.
  • streamline Gift Aid by taking up the Future of Gift Aid recommendations, and raise thresholds for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.
  • bring back the Innovation in Giving Fund.
  • extend DCMS’s growing place-based giving scheme
  • introduce philanthropy training for all financial advisers. This should form part of their qualifying curriculum or be part of mandatory continued professional development (CPD).
  • protect fiscal incentives for charitable bequests and incentivise payroll giving.

Download a printable version of the manifesto below.

NCVO developed this manifesto in partnership with ACEVO.

NCVO and ACEVO logos