What's next for 2017: prediction on the relationship between Government and charities

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Mike Smith | 12 December 2016

IoF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mike Smith takes a look at what could be the potential opportunities for charity fundraising in relation to Government policies.

It is fair to say that 2016 was characterised by an at times strained relationship between government and charity sector.

Debates around ‘anti-advocacy clauses’, fundraising inquiries and concerns following the Brexit vote all contributed to a sense that there was a tension between government and many charities. That is not to say that there haven’t been positive initiatives - later this week the Local Charities Day on Friday 16th December will show the power of government championing the work of the sector. 

A prediction for the next year?  I think there is every reason to feel optimistic. With the EU Referendum and subsequent fallout dominating the political agenda of the new government this year, there hasn’t really been much of a discernible approach towards the charity sector. 2017 should be a moment when this can change and we see a refreshed engagement from policy makers on how they can strategically work with charities.  At the Institute of Fundraising, we believe that a greater investment and support to strengthen fundraising capacity should be a priority in 2017.  It is through fundraising that the long-term sustainability of charities can be enhanced, at the same time as cementing the link between the public and the causes they care about.  In particular, supporting smaller charities that may have fewer resources of their own could be a priority.

As we move into 2017 the work of Britain’s fantastic charity fundraisers will be more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Government will want to do even more in the coming years to value, support and promote this.

How do you think the UK Government will engage with charities in 2017? Let us know on Twitter! 

Mike SmithMike Smith, Head of Media and Public Affairs, IoF

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