You might call it 'influencing', 'voice', 'advocacy' or 'campaigning', but essentially all of these activities are about creating change. At NCVO, we're using the word 'campaigning' as shorthand.
Through campaigning, voluntary organisations bring numerous benefits to society, including:
- addressing the root causes of social problems, not just their effects
- promoting community engagement
- contributing to stronger democracy
- helping give a voice to those without one
- securing better services in both the public and private sectors.
Government must recognise and encourage the right to campaign. We call on politicians of all parties to support campaigning and advocacy by individuals and organisations, and in particular to:
- respect the independence of voluntary organisations, including their right to campaign in support of their cause and in the interests of their beneficiaries – irrespective of any funding relationship
- demonstrate their commitment to this by ensuring that the Charity Commission’s guidance on campaigning (CC9) is upheld and fully adhered to, by both charities and the Commission itself
- facilitate lawful protest and peaceful assembly, including the right to protest around parliament.
Sometimes these important rights to campaign can be overlooked, for example, in debates about the role of voluntary organisations in delivering public services. NCVO will continue to champion the voluntary sector's campaigning role.
What we're working on
- A resolution to the anti-lobbying clause.
- Chloe Stables, our external relations manager, wrote about campaigning after the EU referendum on the blog.
Find out more about campaigning
- Download our policy briefing on charities and campaigning (pdf, 592kb).
- Read Speaking out: Guidance on campaigning and political activity by charities (CC9) on the Charity Commission website.
- Find out more about the NCVO Campaigning Conference.
Latest campaigning press releases
- Charities welcome new grants standards
Charities have welcomed substantial changes to the government's planned 'anti-lobbying clause', announced today.
- United Nations Director-General backs Constructive Voices
The UN Director-General has welcomed NCVO’s Constructive Voices project and the positive contribution of the charity sector. Speaking after a meeting of top journalists, editors and figures from the charity and social enterprise sectors convened by Constructive Voices, Michael Møller, a strong advocate of constructive journalism said:
I very much welcome Constructive Voices and that it is championing constructive, solutions-focused journalism at the very moment that this trend towards a more balanced kind of journalism is picking up steam. It’s clear from the comments at the meeting that the voluntary sector has a valuable role to play in contributing solutions to society. I hope the media take note of that.