Operating environment

Combat the challenging operating environment for charities and NGOs in the UK

The operating environment for charities and nongovernmental organisations has become increasingly challenging in recent years. The UK has placed significant restrictions on the ability of charities to speak out, which has had a ‘chilling effect’ on the sector. The 2014 Lobbying Act created widespread confusion, which resulted in charities and NGOs withdrawing from public debate in the 12 months before the 2015 election.

Changes to the legislative and regulatory framework have taken place within an increasingly negative political and media environment. Attacks on charities and third sector groups are becoming more frequent, and are linked to other attacks such as those on aid and development. The positioning and behaviour of the Charity Commission has also caused concern.

This group is coordinating a sector wide response to these restrictions. It includes both Bond members and non-Bond members. The current priorities of the group are:

  • To respond to and reverse restrictions on charity advocacy and campaigning
  • To build support for charity advocacy and campaigning in parliament and the media
  • To develop and communicate a positive narrative about charity advocacy and campaigning
  • To support charities to understand the current legal and regulatory frameworks

To find out more about this group, please email Rowan Popplewell.