A great day yesterday; a meeting of the ACEVO Board and the Fortnum's Charity evening, one of them accompanied by drink. For some reason the Fortnum event, organised by that great organisation, "The Big Give", was packed out with Labour Peers and even Cherie Blair and Ruby Wax!
But enough of fun, what about our third sector campaigning role. It's a key feature of all we do in our sector and our voice; protecting the excluded and arguing for a more just society will be much in need over the coming years.
I was fascinated by a study from the Third Sector Research Centre on the role we played in the last General Election.
According to the report, the third sector was “given a voice” during the 2010 election campaign.
The Opportunity and influence study was undertaken to measure the effects of the election on increasing the sector's influence in politics and found that the recent election had helped to increase focus on the sector.
Documentary analysis and interviews with key stakeholders undertaken before, during and after the election found that the sector “was implicitly at the heart of all party agendas” and that most commentators “expected to see a significant role for the third sector in policy developments and public service delivery in the coming years.”
The study notes distinctions in terms of the sector's various campaigning portfolios including longer, more election-focused campaigning as well as opportunistic and anti-electoral campaigning.
I was also delighted to see a strong endorsement of the work ACEVO did to focus attention on us. Our Tory Summit at Millbank was, of course, a huge success in particular. As the report says,
"Efforts from key players such as ACEVO, which held summits with the three main parties in the six months prior to the election, are congratulated in an election which made political positioning more treacherous."
Interestingly it argues that organisations making themselves available for comment on arising issues are also positively highlighted as opposed to those practising caution by limiting campaigning to behind-the-scenes, which are seen as having had an “inhibiting effect” on dialogue.
Glad you enjoyed our party at Fortnum's - no idea why so many Labour peers!
As well as raising £80,000 for charities on The Big Give, the night also promoted our Christmas Challenge.
The challenge launched yesterday (Mon 6th) and has already raised over £4m by doubling donations to 300 charities.
Including lots of ACEVO member charities, of course!
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