What charities can learn from the election campaign so far

We’re officially a week in, though it feels like much longer. We thought it would be useful to have a look at some of the headlines that charities should be aware of, highlight some of the charity campaigns to look out for, and flag some of the resources that might help you over the next four weeks.

The end of austerity?

Probably the most significant policy news of the campaign so far is that both the Conservatives and Labour are committed to significant increases in infrastructure spending, and that sits alongside a number of other spending pledges.

Whoever wins the election is likely to loosen the purse strings to some extent, which has a couple of major implications. Firstly, there will be a huge focus on the party manifestos and what pledges are being made. Many will be looking particularly closely to see if there is any mention of local government funding after a prolonged period of austerity has seen local authority budgets shrink.

It also suggests that we will be in a markedly different environment when the new parliament starts, even without an election around the corner. While many charities will have held back from making funding requests because of the political difficulties attached, there may now be considerably more scope for these asks, so where charities think additional funding is needed, it will probably be worth testing the water.

Charity campaigning so far

We’ve made clear that we think charities can campaign with confidence – so it’s good to see that some are already getting their issues on the agenda and supporting the democratic process in the early days of the election. The likes of Mencap, Stonewall, and Pause are focusing on making it easier or encouraging people to vote.

We’ve also started to see the first charity manifestos being published, including NCVO’s manifesto which calls for greater political and financial investment and greater recognition of charities’ role in shaping our country’s future.

ACEVO’s manifesto, also published this week, has set out a values-based approach to strengthening the relationship between politicians and the sector, while international development umbrella body Bond has called for the UK to be a global leader on development.

Civil Society have rounded up the main asks from charity manifestos that have been published so far.

Our head of communications Chloe has also been collecting examples of charity campaigns during the election campaign, so if you see anything interesting please reply to her rapidly expanding Twitter thread.

Rules around campaigning

If you want to get to grips with the rules, we’ll be running a free webinar tomorrow with Bates Wells and Bond to help make sure you have the knowledge to campaign with confidence. And don’t worry if you can’t make the time – if you register we will send you the recording so you can catch up at your leisure.

 

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Chris Walker Chris is NCVO’s public affairs manager, focusing on parliamentary work. He started his career working for several MPs in Parliament, and has also worked in public affairs and policy roles for the Federation of Small Businesses.

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