Lobbying Act

The Lobbying Act, legislated in January 2014, sets out new rules for how charities and other civil society organisations can campaign in the lead up to national elections.

Bond encourages all of our members to familiarise themselves with the new rules and importantly, to carry on campaigning.

Below you'll find some useful resources and background information.

What the act means for campaigning

The rules will apply to the 2017 UK general election. They came into force on 19 April 2017 and will last until polling day, 8 June 2017.

Briefing and Q&A event - 9 May, 10am - 1pm

Bond and ACEVO are holding a joint free event to encourage and support organisations to campaign with confidence throughout the electoral period, as well as discussing how best to monitor the impact of the Lobbying Act on the sector at this election. 

Participants will have an opportunity to listen to a presentation by the Electoral Commission on the rules governing non-party campaigning, as well as charities talking about their experience of campaigning within the rules at the 2015 General Election and their plans for this election. The Commission for Civil Society and Democratic Engagement will discuss how to monitor the impact of the Lobbying Act. 

Find out more and book your place.

Useful resources

FAQs answering some of the most common questions organisations might have.

Bond briefing paper designed to help organisations understand the basics of the act, whether you need to register or not and to suggest some good internal practice. Updated April 2017.

NCVO template board paper to help your trustees decide and document your decision on registration (free for NCVO members, 5.82 for non-members). Published August 2014.

Electoral Commission's Guidance for "non-party campaigners" explains how the rules will work. There is also a useful FAQ section.

ACEVO has published a briefing on General Election campaigning.

For more information, or to raise any questions or concerns you may have, please email advocacy@bond.org.uk.

Civil society response to the act

Bond, and many of our members, were a part of a diverse grouping of more than 130 civil society organisations who worked tirelessly to challenge the poorly drafted bill as it was rushed through parliament in 2013.

While key changes to the bill were agreed following two authoritative reports by the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement, Bond remains concerned the legislation could weaken civil society's ability to campaign on the big issues facing our society and planet.

The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement will monitor the impact the act has on civil society. Please record and share any examples or case studies of impact your organisation has via email advocacy@bond.org.uk.

Bond's role

Bond worked with our members, NCVO, ACEVO and other NGOs, umbrella organisations, think tanks and academics to ensure civil society responded in a strong and coordinated way to the lobbying bill. We: