Commission to overhaul charity campaign rules

The Charity Commission is proposing changes to its guidance on campaigning that will clarify the types of activities that charities can undertake.

Miller: joins as head of media
Miller: joins as head of media

The regulatory body is currently consulting a group of charities about its suggested changes. It hopes to put a final draft of the guidelines before its board on 28 November. If accepted, the revised campaigning guidelines will be published soon after.

The move is an attempt to combat self-censorship by charities that have been ­accused of taking an over-cautious approach to campaigning. The Commission is also in talks with the Office of the Third Sector about the broader issue of the voluntary sector’s role in the political sphere. Some charity PROs are concerned that linking up with MPs for ­campaigning might lead to accusations that charities are aligning themselves with ­party politics.

The Commission is particularly interested in how this affects public trust and ­confidence in charities.

Following the 2006 Charities Act, which granted the commission more powers and responsibilities, head of corporate affairs Sarah ­Atkinson is leading a drive to make the body’s media unit more proactive. 

She has hired a new head of media to help with this initiative. Sarah Miller, former head of media at ­Citizens Advice, joins on 8 October.

As head of a three-strong team, Miller is tasked with strengthening relationships with the media and helping increase public trust and confidence in charities.

Miller joined Citizens ­Advice in June 2006. She was previously a senior press ­officer at The Salvation Army.

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