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Producing the voluntary sector manifesto

On Wednesday 22 May, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak surprised the nation by calling a general election on Thursday 4 July (You can read ACEVO CEO Jane Ide’s comment on the announcement).

Over the past year, ACEVO and NCVO have worked alongside each other and our members in efforts to produce a joint manifesto, on behalf of the sector, for the sector. Today the manifesto has been launched. We want civil society to be acknowledged as crucial and trusted partners in public policymaking and we want this manifesto to make clear to politicians of all parties that we want to see our sector valued, acknowledged and supported to be the powerful force for good that we know it can be.  

The journey to a joint manifesto

ACEVO and NCVO policy teams collaborated to plan engagement with our members on initial ideas for broad manifesto themes.

Over the summer of 2023, we held several workshops and engagement events  with ACEVO and NCVO members, in-person and online and consulted on the broad themes of strengthening democracy and civic space, creating inclusive economies, building stronger communities, helping people to live happy and healthy lives, and action on climate change.  Following this first round of engagement, the policy teams redrafted and then consulted again on a more detailed discussion paper via a series of NCVO and ACEVO member meetings and online feedback form. We gathered further feedback through the Civil Society Group (CSG) and through other sector and policy forums and continued to refine the proposals. Throughout the process, we were told what organisations and individuals thought of the broad themes, what they wanted to be included, what they felt was missing and added much welcome thought, detail, and input. This has been a collaborative process and a collaborative endeavour. The manifesto we launch today is a summary document of a much more detailed process that informed it, and is designed to be engaging for politicians and to set out the vision we want to see.

What we want

We view the manifesto as a tool for all to use to set out our collective and brighter vision for the future, and to show the next incoming government how we can work together in partnership to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our society.

We believe a key priority for the incoming government is to develop a new and impactful relationship with civil society to drive the much-needed improvement. We want the next government to put engagement with civil society at the heart of public policy development and we hope the manifesto will help create the opportunity for a relationship that is filled with mutual respect and effective and constructive dialogue.

ACEVO supports charities and their leaders to campaign with confidence. Check the rules and our advice on campaigning as a charity during an election, use the manifesto to help engage with politicians both before and after the election, and help us to share the manifesto through your social media and communications platforms the visual asset and the copy below:

The Voluntary Sector Manifesto is here! Created by the sector, for the sector, this manifesto is a chance to get your voice heard in the lead up to the #GeneralElection. Download and use it today:  #VoluntarySectorManifesto  @ACEVO @NCVO

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