Engaging with politicians, candidates and political parties can remain a core part of your campaigning activity in the run up to an election.
What you can do
- Invite candidates and political party representatives to public meetings about issues on which the charity is campaigning.
- Invite candidates to debate issues related to the charity’s objectives.
- Organise hustings, providing the charity remains politically neutral.
- Invite candidates to speak at a reception to launch the charity’s campaign(s).
- Invite representatives from a range of political parties to participate in the charity’s events (this does not have to include EVERY political party).
- Exclude a candidate if their presence will create a risk of disorder, if their views are in contravention of the charity’s objects or likely to alienate the charity’s supporters.
- Accept invitations from political parties to explain the needs of its beneficiary group.
- Organise different kinds of direct action in support of charitable campaign activity.
- Organise a petition in support of its charitable campaign activity.
- Organise member-only events such as the charity’s annual conference.
- Undertake market research with members and/or committed supporters.
If you do this, you may break charity law or need to register as a third party campaigner
- Invite candidates from only one political party to participate in the charity’s events.
- Exclude candidates from the mainstream political parties without very strong reasons for doing so.
- Hold public rallies or events that might influence how people will vote.
- Undertake canvassing and market research of the public.
IN BRIEF: A charity can continue to campaign during elections providing it sticks to its own issues and does not attempt to influence how people vote.
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