Freedom to Campaign: Events and Other Campaign Activities

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 any of the following, 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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