Voluntary Sector: Moves for charity comms trade body gather pace

Charity comms staff could see their own trade body up and running by the end of the year, according to voluntary sector chiefs.

Institute of Fundraising chair Joe Saxton, one of the figures behind the plan, said an 'exploratory meeting' disrupted by the second London terror attacks has been rescheduled for 8 September.

Saxton said momentum for the new, as yet unnamed, trade body was building, and comms chiefs from major UK charities had expressed interest.

'People are phoning in all the time, including the NSPCC, British Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation,' said Saxton. 'There is a reservoir of enthusiasm, and I haven't spoken to anyone who hasn't been keen on the idea.'

He claimed the lack of a trade body specifically for comms staff in the voluntary sector was something that needed to be addressed, and the organisation could be a valuable resource for everyone from comms directors to juniors.

'Charity comms people don't have a big networking event at the moment, so there are plans to hold an inaugural conference next March,' he said. 'But a trade body could also help look at broader issues such as getting print and broadcast media more charity-focused.'

Organisers will continue to build support for proposals ahead of the September meeting to be held in London. Talks are planned with both the Charity Commission and the Home Office as well as a number of charities yet to be contacted by organisers.

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