Use your strong position for better party policies, charities urged by CFG

The Charity Finance Group has published guidance for dealing with political parties during the general election campaign

Charities are still in a "fundamentally strong position" in the forthcoming general election, but must ensure they capitalise on this position in return for policies that support the charity sector, according to the Charity Finance Group.

New guidance, published by the CFG yesterday, says charities should be aware that they will need to negotiate better support for the sector from government in order to do their work effectively.

This means ensuring that policies take the sector into account, unlike, for example, increases in probate fees on estates or quarterly account filing for charity trading subsidiaries, both of which would draw charity resources away from front-line work, according to the CFG.

The guidance says: "Charities are working across all the key areas, including health and social care, international aid, employment support and education. Politicians will need to work with the sector if they want to be able to effectively deliver their agendas.

"There is a risk that charities will ignore this strong position, and this election will become a traditional conversation between the sector and the government in which the sector offers ideas and support for various policy agendas, but receives little in return."

Finance professionals who work in the charity sector also have a duty to make policy colleagues aware of the financial burdens that charities are facing and ensure politicians are asked to address them during the campaign, the guidance says.

It says there are three ways political parties should think about charities during the elections, with a focus on ensuring that politicians consider the impact of their policies on the charity sector as they would with businesses.

Politicians should also consider ways to support the charity sector as well as their beneficiaries, and use Brexit as an opportunity to build a stronger society, the guidance says.

CFG says in its guidance that tax reform, better use of grants, increased funding for the Charity Commission and ensuring Brexit does not make it harder for charities to help beneficiaries should be the four main priorities for policymakers.

The guidance comes after a manifesto was published by the Social Economy Alliance, which includes the CFG. It called for £1bn of unclaimed assets to be released into the community.

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