Most Conservative voters disagree with criticisms of charities for being too political in their activities, according to a New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) poll.
Some 22% of Conservative supporters said that charities were “too political” versus 63% who said they “get it about right” and 7% who thought charities should be more political.
At the Conservative Party conference, home secretary Suella Braverman said: “Each time I have gone to parliament to improve the law on immigration, Labour has tried to block us. Always aided by their allies in the third sector.”
Also at the event, former chair of the Charity Commission chair Baroness Stowell said charities should avoid campaigning on contentious issues.
At the Conservative and Labour Party conferences, Civil Society asked attendees whether charities should campaign and received varied responses.
Civil Society test
The poll comes ahead of today’s NPC Insights conference, where chief executive Dan Corry will call for the next government to introduce a civil society test for all new policies.
This requirement would mean assessing all new policies to see if they could be delivered more efficiently by charities and other social organisations.
In his speech, Corry, a former Treasury official and head of the Number 10 policy unit, will warn politicians: “If you want our public services to innovate and progress, in areas from mental health to reducing re-offending, you need to embrace the charity sector – not treat it like a difficult relative to be patronised at best and ignored at worst.”
Savanta polled 2,062 members of the public between 25 September and 4 October 2023 on behalf of NPC.