New research shows that charities face tough battles ahead on campaigning with MPs

Charities face tough battles ahead on campaigning with many MPs – particularly Conservatives – new research shows. Two thirds of Conservative MPs think that the charity sector is too political, and one third think that charities should not campaign in Parliament at all.

The poll of 150 MPs, from research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 62% of Conservative MPs agree with the statement “The charity sector as a whole is too political”. 30% agree with the statement “Charities should not campaign in Parliament”. Conversely, only 4% of Labour MPs agree that the sector is too political, and a mere 1% feel that charities should not campaign in Parliament.

The research also shows that MPs think charities should be spending less of their income on admin and fundraising, and more on the cause. On average, MPs think that charities spend 55% of their money on the cause, significantly less than the 73% they feel would be acceptable.

Interestingly, both of these figures are higher than among the general public, who think charities spend just 38% of their money on the cause when it should be 64%. This suggests that MPs are less likely to underestimate charity spending on the cause, but have higher expectations than the wider public.

  • 62% of Conservative MPs think the charity sector as a whole is too political, and 30% think that charities should not campaign in Parliament (slide 2)
  • Only 4% of Labour MPs think the charity sector as a whole is too political, and 1% think that charities should not campaign in Parliament (slide 2)
  • MPs think that charities spend 55% of their income on the cause, significantly less than the 73% they feel would be acceptable (slide 3)
  • The general public think that charities spend just 38% of their income on the cause when it should be 64% (slide 4)

nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, said:

“Clearly, charities will have to overcome significant challenges if they are to campaign effectively in the new parliament. Influencing Conservative MPs who don’t believe that charities should be lobbying in the first place is an unenviable task, and to make matters worse it’s clear that most MPs don’t think charities spend their money effectively enough.

As the Labour Party struggles to define itself in the aftermath of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership triumph, it’s more important than ever that the charity sector states its own case in parliament. Clear, powerful and positive messages are needed to convince sceptical MPs that charities have an important role to play in national policy debates”.

Please see the attached slides for more details.

For further comment from nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton, please contact him directly on 07976 329 212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net

SOURCE: nfpSynergy’s Charity Parliamentary Monitor, which regularly surveys a representative sample of 150 MPs, asking them a range of charity-related questions. Data was used from the May/June 2015 wave. Fieldwork by ComRes

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MEDIA COMMENT:

To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him directly on 07976 329212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net. If you cannot contact Joe, please contact Anna Chistyakova (02074 268868; E: anna.chistyakova@nfpsynergy.net) for further assistance.

Note to editors:

nfpSynergy (www.nfpsynergy.net) is a research consultancy dedicated to the not-for-profit sector. They aim to provide the ideas, the insights and the information to help non-profits thrive. They provide a unique insight into the social and charity-related views of everyone from public and parliament to media and business, not to mention not-for-profit organisations themselves. nfpSynergy has a vast and ever-growing knowledge pool and shares this with the non-profit sector, through both paid work and regular free reports and seminars.

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MPs-Attitudes-to-Charities---Slides.pptx

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