Voluntary Sector: Charity Commission guide

The Charity Commission still plans to publish its revised campaigning guidelines at the end of the month, despite disagreement over the wording of the draft at last week's board meeting.

The commission is revising its guidance on political campaigning after fears that the old CC9 document was scaring off charities, particularly smaller organisations.

Last week, the board approved the proposed changes in principle. But it also recommended making some of the concepts clearer, as well as stressing that charities should be mindful of the reputational risks of being seen to be working too closely with political parties.

The commission will now revise the draft and expects to publish the guidance at the end of the month as planned.

The launch of the guidance will be accompanied by a communications campaign to ensure charities understand the documents and that the general public are clear on what charities can do.

It will target sector press, political media and social affairs correspondents.

Head of corporate affairs Sarah Atkinson said: 'The revision of the guidance has provoked lively debate within the sector, but it is also very relevant for the public.

'It is important for charities to feel confident of their ability to preserve their independence while working in the political arena, as it is often a good way for them to reach their objectives.'

Public Affairs News, opposite [XX] Virtual Valentine The British Heart Foundation has kicked off its Valentine's Appeal to raise £1m for its heart helpline and nurses. As well as targeting regional and national media, it has set up a Facebook application that enables people to send each other gifts, including a virtual boyfriend or girlfriend, for a £1 fee.

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