Policy, Policy, campaigns & research

June Policy Update

Here's a roundup of news from around the charity sector.

In true DSC fashion, we’re doing all we can to support you and your charity during the electoral period. We’ve put together a handful of key articles and blogs this month that will help you campaign with confidence. You can find a full list of resources on our General Election hub but here’s a round-up of what we’ve put out: 

New Manifesto Mashup for charities 

Jay Kennedy, DSC’s Director of Policy and Research, has sifted through the manifestos of the three main UK-wide parties, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat, to see what they have to say about charities.  

We’ve broken down this vast amount of information and put it into a handy document for you to use as you wish. It breaks down where the parties stand on civil society and other key policy areas affecting charities. Click here to download your free copy.

In general, we’re disappointed by the general lack of mentions of charities or civil society in all three manifestos. But these are documents to try and persuade voters after all, and plenty of policy proposals could affect our sector and our beneficiaries. Given the scale of the challenges our society faces, whichever party eventually forms the next government needs to seriously engage with charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to achieve positive change. 

Brilliant charity campaigns from the sector 

There have been so many brilliant charity campaigns during the lead-up to the election that have shown how vital charities are in political times. Charities do have a right to campaign, and there have been so many doing it in a variety of creative and innovative ways. We’ve seen charities provide information, fact-check data, advocate for their beneficiaries through manifestos, make it easier for the beneficiaries to vote and much more! It’s  a big part of what charities are here for, and as long as you’re doing it within the law, it’s more than encouraged.  

Get inspired and take a look at six brilliant charity campaigns here. 

Election updates that charities should be aware of 

Even if your charity doesn’t campaign or isn’t doing anything public during the election, there are important things happening that will affect local charities in the coming weeks and months.  

Here are some things to know and look out for as we move through the next phases of the campaign: 

  1. Boundary changes – A constituency boundary review was finalised last year and is now in place for the 2024 General Election, therefore it’s possible that your charity could find itself in a different constituency. You can find out by checking the interactive map at the House of Commons website here.   
  2. Many MPs are stepping down – 132 MPs didn’t stand for re-election, including a former Prime Minister, current and former ministers, and many experienced back bench MPs. 
  3. Prospective parliamentary candidates finalised – You can find out prospective candidates for your area here. 
  4. More guidance from the Charity Commission – The Charity Commission has released some brief guidance for parliamentary candidates which should be useful for charities to refer to if they are going to interact with candidates during the election campaign. Take a look here. 

Read the full article by Jay Kennedy here. 

General Election checklist – know your stuff! 

At DSC, we encourage charities to engage and speak out in this crucial time. Charities have every right to campaign and to engage with politics and politicians in support of their charitable purposes as long as they don’t stray into supporting a particular party or candidate.  

In our latest article, Jay Kennedy provides an Election Checklist for charities who are campaigning during this time, which outlines a number of important factors that you should be aware of. Take a look here. 

What happens next? 

It seems hard to believe, but it’s only a week until polling day on 4 July. We should know the result the day after, and then a new government will be formed and MPs for the new parliament sworn in the following week.  

The timing of this election means the normal political calendar is disrupted. Instead of a break over the summer there will be a lot going on in the first few months, as the Cabinet is appointed, the new government puts forward its legislative agenda in the King’s Speech, and then carries out a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn. 

 So stay tuned for more analysis and practical information about what it all means and why it matters to charities.