Policy, Policy, campaigns & research

May Policy Update

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

It’s been a big policy month for us all! A general election has been announced and there’s plenty going on in the sector. Here’s a round-up of news and information, in case you missed it. 

Key General Election dates and information 

It’s been announced that the first summer election since 1945 is due to take place this year on Thursday, 4 July. Charities across the board are ramping up their campaigns to make sure that their cause is being listened to by politicians from every party. Whether your charity is campaigning or not, here are some key dates coming up that you should be aware of: 

  • 30 May – dissolution of Parliament  
  • 7 June – deadline for nominating prospective candidates  
  • 5-15 June – party manifestos likely to be announced  
  • 18 June – voter registration deadline  
  • 4 July – polling day  
  • 9 July – swearing in of new MPs  
  • 17 July – State Opening of Parliament 

See a more comprehensive breakdown of the upcoming key events here. 

Charities can and should campaign to influence our politics and politicians on behalf of their charitable causes, however, it’s crucial that you have the right information to help you in the process. Find all the information you need to know on election campaigning laws and regulations in our updated article by Jay Kennedy, DSC’s Director of Policy and Research. Here’s the link. 

The next parliament is likely to have a high number of new MPs 

There were already over a hundred MPs expected to stand down at this election and since the announcement, more have done so. This means the next Parliament will likely have a substantial number of new MPs, which could provide fresh opportunities to influence. Parties are currently finalising their candidates and have to submit paperwork to the Electoral Commission by 7 June.  

There is a list of MPs standing down here, and also the journalist Michael Crick is tracking the latest news and announcements on X @tomorrowsmps. If you’re a local charity it’s worth checking whether your own MP is standing down and monitoring who is competing to take their place, as well as the other prospective candidates which should be finalised after 7 June. 

Trustees – take part in a public consultation to refresh and reshape the Charity Governance Code 

The Charity Governance Code steering group is in the process of reviewing and updating the Code. In essence, they want to make sure it works for different-size charities, is user-friendly and that it doesn’t create barriers for people using it. In the usual sector fashion, they have launched a public consultation to gather viewpoints and insights.  

The group wants to hear from trustees who have used the code and those who use it less regularly or not at all, so don’t hesitate to tell them what you think. To respond to the consultation, complete the online survey by 11 August, it should take up to 30 minutes.  

Click here to have your say. 

Also, if you haven’t used it yet, check out DSC’s own Governance App which allows you to self-assess your board based on the key areas of the Code. 

New ‘Race Equity Series’ for charities 

ACEVO and Voice4Change have now launched the ‘Race Equity Series’ as part of their Home Truths 2 programme of work. This new free online series, open to all in civil society, will give you the opportunity to explore new insights and engage with experts on transformative change in the sector.  

The first session will explore some actionable ways that organisations can promote and enforce equity, inclusion and anti-racist principles. Taking place on Wednesday 12 June, learn more here. 

Awareness weeks to add to your calendar 

In June, the sector will celebrate Volunteers’ Week (Monday 3 – Sunday 9 June) and Small Charity Week (Monday 24 – Friday 28 June). Here’s everything you need to know: 

Volunteers Week 40-year anniversary 

During this year’s 40th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week, the sector will be celebrating the amazing contributions volunteers make to communities across the UK. Follow @VolunteersWeek on X to stay up to date with this campaign and be updated on any free events. 

You can find some tips on how to celebrate your volunteers here or check out the Volunteers’ Week website to see the event schedule and resources.  

Small Charity Week 

Small Charity Week amplifies, supports and connects small charities right
across the UK. Throughout the week there will be lots of free events for small charities to join, including webinars on AI, corporate partnerships and new technology. See the event schedule here. 

At DSC, we’ll be joining in on the celebrations by sharing resources and spreading the word about how important volunteers and small charities are.