Charity sector wide lobbying group launches

More than 50 charities and umbrella bodies have formed a collaborative group to improve the effectiveness of the sector’s lobbying and partnership working.

The Civil Society Group “aims to harness the collective strengths of their diverse networks, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and allow civil society to clearly articulate shared priorities and views to government”.

It also aims to build on collaboration in the sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic and is open to any charity, infrastructure and member organisations.

Members of the group include the NCVO, ACEVO, Association of Charitable Foundations, as well as the Charity Finance Group and Small Charities Coalition.

Charities involved include UK Youth, Scouts, Equality Trust and Girlguiding.

In a statement the group said it will be a “place for sector leaders to exchange opinions and ideas” as well as enable “policies of mutual interest to be developed and promoted, and intelligence shared”.

Among work already underway is lobbying the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as well as enaging with ministers around charities’ role in the government’s levelling up agenda.

“The Civil Society Group will help us take forward the benefits and lessons from the pandemic to ensure that collaboration is at the heart of how civil society operates,” said Small Charities Coalition interim chief executive Liz Pelper.

“We are making working together the norm, not just something that happens in times of crisis. This will benefit the communities receiving support from the charities and social change organisations in our diverse networks and help ensure our collective voice is heard by decision makers in government.

“Collaboration is at the heart of what The Civil Society Group wants to achieve for wider society.

“We believe that the issues we face today can only be solved when we include everybody. The organisations we represent, from faith groups, charity shops, to local community operations and foodbanks, offer so much to our communities.”

ACEVO chief executive Vicky Browning added: “The Civil Society Group will also allow civil society to speak clearly and directly to governments about our shared priorities and views and streamline and enhance our sector’s engagement with decision makers."

Others involved include the Association of Chairs and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

A full list of groups and charities involved can be found here.

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