Freedom to Campaign: At a glance

For the most part you can carry on ‘business as usual’ – our Guide tells you how; but if you’re in a hurry, here are five quick tips on how campaigners can stick within the law and still achieve their communications objectives:

The Lobbying Act put in place two tests and if charity campaigning meets both tests; it falls under ‘regulated campaign activity’. If a charity spends over a certain amount on ‘regulated campaign activity’, the charity must then register as a third party campaigner and report on its campaign spending.

And it all hangs on your charitable purpose

  • A charity can carry out campaigning and political activity that supports its charitable purpose (unless its governing document prohibits it).
  • That includes, raising public support for change and seeking to influence political parties or independent candidates, decision-makers, politicians or public servants.
  • And charities canundertake regulated activity under the rules of the Lobbying Act.


  • If a charity spends over £20k in England (or £10,000 in either Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) during the regulated period, they must register with the Electoral Commission. They cannot spend more than the maximum amount and they cannot break Charity Commission rules.
  • Political campaigning must not be the continuing and sole activity of the charity.

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