What have we been up to in Parliament?
IoF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mike Smith, looks back at what the Institute has been up to in Parliament.
The end of September marks the start of the political party ‘Conference Season’. We had a successful few days at both the Labour Conference in Liverpool and the Conservative Conference in Birmingham this year meeting with MPs and party members to talk about the brilliant work of fundraisers. One highlight from the Conservative Conference was our work co-hosting a roundtable event attended by the Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson and the new adviser leading on charities at No 10 Downing Street, Charlotte Lawson. This was a great opportunity to discuss the issues facing charities and fundraisers, and how the government can support them.
With party conference season now over, MPs have returned to Westminster and the IoF has been holding meetings with MPs and watching Parliament closely on all things charity fundraising.
There is a new Bill going through Parliament which aims to make it easier for charities to benefit from the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. However, we don’t think that it goes far enough and so have been working with other charity organisations to change the Bill to amend the remaining obstacles for smaller charities to benefit from the scheme. The IoF was mentioned several times during the recent debate on the Bill, and the points have been making were raised by several MPs. The Bill will now progress to its Committee Stage where we will keep pushing for these changes to be made.
We have also met with several Scottish MPs this week, updating them on the changes taking place in the regulatory environment in Scotland, and to ask their support for charity fundraising and the work of our members in the future. On top of of this, we have also been asking MPs to help us promote the IoF’s new ‘Trustees and Fundraising: a practical handbook’, which was launched at the IoF Trustees and Fundraising Conference earlier in the month. This is a really important way to involve MPs in helping us to promote the importance of fundraising, and offering support to charity trustees to understand and engage in fundraising decisions.
And finally, the new Labour Shadow Minister for Civil Society, Steve Reed MP, was appointed to his post last week. We will be meeting with the Shadow Minister Reed soon to discuss the issues affecting fundraisers and how we can encourage fundraising and giving.
We will keep you updated, but if you have any questions or would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
- government and fundraising