Campaigning is about creating change – for people, for causes and for the long term. It brings energy and passion to public debates and ensures that a wider range of voices are heard, including the voices of the disadvantaged. Charities have a long-established role in campaigning, in starting public debates and in holding the government to account. By speaking out about the causes that matter to them, charities have shaped changes in behaviour, public attitudes and government policy, helping to make the world a better place.
Research from NCVO’s Almanac shows that just 8% of charity sector volunteers identified as campaigners in 2014-15.
Charity sector campaigning is widely accepted and according to a 2014 opinion poll by NFP Synergy, some 58% of people think that charities should be able to campaign to change laws and policies relevant to their causes. The same poll showed that 96% of people didn’t see campaigning as a reason not to give money to a charity.
Our campaigning and lobbying page sets out NCVO’s training and support resources for charities and individual campaigners. You can also find practical advice and information on campaigning on NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit.
What we're working on
A resolution to the anti-lobbying clause
NCVO have persuaded the government to recognise a fundamental flaw in the anti-lobbying clause that would have restricted the campaigning rights of charities. Read more about our work on the anti-lobbying clause.
The Lobbying Act and the implementation of Hodgson’s recommendations
NCVO support Lord Hodsgon’s recommended changes to the Lobbying Act and are working with the government to create a deal that’s fair on charities. See Elizabeth Chamberlain's blogpost about Lord Hodsgon's recommendations.
NCVO are working to preserve the rights and freedoms of voluntary organisations as we prepare to leave the European Union. See our Brexit policy page for more details of what we’re doing.
Find out more about campaigning
- Policy briefing on charities and campaigning (pdf, 592KB).
- Speaking out: Guidance on campaigning and political activity by charities (CC9) on the Charity Commission's website.
- Guidance on campaigning during elections and referendums
- NCVO Campaigning Conference.
- Our participation almanac, Participation: Trends, Facts and Figures (pdf, 2.52MB), published in 2011.
Join the discussion
- NCVO provides the secretariat to the All Parliamentary Group on charities and volunteering
Latest campaigning press releases
- 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.
- Campaigning during the election period: What you need to know
This free online event will look at how charities can campaign in the upcoming election. We will provide information on how you can make sure you stay on the right side of Charity Commission guidance and the law, and which campaign strategies will help you best achieve your goals. The contributors are Chris Walker, political expert at NCVO and Simon Steeden, a partner with the law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, and the event is hosted by NCVO’s head of policy, Elizabeth Chamberlain.
Date 2 May 2017 Time 13.00 - 14.00