How NCVO’s policy work can make a difference to your organisation

Charlotte Stuffins blogs about policy. Charlotte no longer works for NCVO but her posts have been archived on this site.

What are we doing? Here at NCVO we have decided to review the policy areas that we are working on, and we want your suggestions on which areas to focus. Simply put, a policy area is an issue or a topic that we analyse and provide information on. This will then form the basis of our conversations with Government at all levels as well as a range of other bodies such as the Charity Commission or the Big Lottery Fund. NCVO’s first aim is to positively influence the external environment on behalf of civil society and one of the main ways that we do this is through our policy work.

How do we do it? Thanks to our partnerships with government and our close relationships with a range of local, national and specialist bodies, including HMRC and the Charity Commission, we have a unique position to influence emerging policy.

Our policy team produces briefings and analysis on often complex government proposals and extracts the key points of interest that have the most relevance to our members. This means that sector organisations can rely on us to be flagging up the consultations and policy announcments that will affect them and the sector as a whole. Often we will convene small groups of sector organsations to explore the detail with us. Where there is a clear role for NCVO to be making a case on behalf of the sector as whole, we will take this further and use this evidence in our conversations and interactions with policy makers.

How does this affect your organisation? Often decisions made in Westminster can seem (and probably literally are) miles away from your organisation’s priorities. Indeed, intricate details of legislation may have minimal impact on the day to day running of the sector, but there is a vast amount of proposals that pass through parliament on a daily basis that will have an impact on the day-to-day running of your organisation.

Our policies are often reactive to proposals and decisions that the Government makes, which affect the sector in many different ways. A recent example can be seen in the Giving White Paper, published in May, which included the introduction of a new ‘Local Infrastructure Fund’. This was one of the recommendations that we proposed in our Funding Commission Report.

We also work with the Government and through our position as a Strategic Partner of the Office for Civil Society, we are able to engage with the government throughout their policy formulation. So we help shape legislation that will affect your organisation before it becomes the law.

Why do we want to hear from you? Our policy work informs all of our influencing and campaigning work, so that decision-makers understand the consequences of their decisions on the voluntary and community sector.

So if you are able to spare a minute or two, please let us know if there are any policy areas that you have found particularly useful and if there are any that you would like to see us focus on in the near future. This will enable us to update our policy areas so that they better match what you want.

And if you are happy with our current policy priorities, any comments on the accessibility, language or content of our work would be most welcomed.

We want to identify the areas to which we, as an organisation, can add real value by proactively developing original policy. We need your input to make this a reality.

Please follow this link to complete our short Policy Review Questionnaire.

If you would like to discuss the details of our policy review further, please contact Charlotte Stuffins on 020 7520 2412 or email charlotte.stuffins@ncvo-vol.org.uk.

Charlotte Stuffins

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