Charities and Campaigning - Is your charity ready for the next general election?

The UK is due a general election at the latest in January 2025. After the Autumn statement an election in Spring 2024 is a distinct possibility.

Mills & Reeve’s Top Five for Campaigning Charities

  1. Charities CAN campaign, within a framework designed to maintain the reputation of the charity sector. Orlando Fraser KC, Chair of the Charity Commission, in a recent speech to the Charity Law Association underlined that “charities are free to campaign robustly in furtherance of their purposes.”  Our motto at M&R is ‘policies not parties’.
  2. Charities CANNOT support or campaign for any individual candidate or political party.
  3. Charities wishing to campaign should develop guidelines for how the trustees wish to campaign. Every campaign must be developed to directly promote the charity's purposes, and that consideration must be recorded. Risks involved in every campaign should be carefully considered, especially where campaigning will be emotive. The impact of each campaign should be evaluated.
  4.  Charities should also be aware of election law – in a very brief summary – if your charity intends to spend more than £10,000 on public activities that can be “reasonably regarded as intended to promote or impede the electoral success of a party or candidate” they will need to register with, and comply with the rules of the Electoral Commission as a non-party campaigner.
  5. Social media is a powerful tool for any charity and especially in the run up to an election. Charities must have a social media campaign and ensure all staff comply with it.  

If you need further details please take a look at our blog on social media and our recent Charity  Newsletter. If you have any questions do get in touch with Neil Burton [email protected]

Blog: Charity Commission Social Media Guidance

Charity Newsletter November 2023

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Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

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