Gearing up for the General Election 
20 February 2024

Our Head of policy and practice, Francesca de Munnich, introduces our Election Ready event series for ACF members.  

As election fever begins to set in, at ACF we are contemplating the implications for foundations, along with the charities and communities they support. The timing of the General Election in 2024 remains uncertain. However, one thing is clear: regardless of when it occurs, the election result is poised to usher in considerable changes.  

Why is the election significant for foundations?  

Understanding the priorities of the forthcoming government and their potential impact on foundations will be essential. Policymaking touches on every aspect of society and across the manifold causes that foundations fund and support, as well as the environment in which they operate.    

In the run up to elections, foundations have a prime opportunity to use their insights and expertise to help shape national debates. Foundations have a rich history of amplifying the voices of those they support, or speaking up on behalf of those who are unable to do so. But as our chief executive Carol Mack highlighted in her recent blog, we anticipate heightened scrutiny of foundations and charities engaged in work where opinions are polarised. 

Introducing our Election Ready event series  

We are committed to providing support and guidance to our members navigating this period of volatility. Our Election Ready event series, as part of our Members’ Policy Forum, is designed to do just that.  

The events will delve into the election from multiple angles and increase awareness and understanding of key issues. We aim to create opportunities for members to exchange insights with peers and feel empowered to engage and campaign with confidence.    

That’s why we are excited to announce a new series of events tailored for our members, ensuring they are fully prepared for the upcoming election season: 

Election Ready: campaigning during an election cycle  
Our first event will focus on the key legal principles that foundations need to be aware of to engage in campaigning during an election cycle. Foundations, and charities they support, have the right to campaign – they must also understand the rules as set out in charity and electoral law.  

We are delighted to be joined by Sam Jackson from the Charity Commission for England and Wales and Suhan Rajkumar from the law firm Bates Wells.  

Sign up here – 2-3pm on Tuesday 12 March 2024 

Election Ready: foundation influencing approaches 
Ahead of the General Election, foundations may consider a range of approaches to influence future government policy. Our second event will explore how foundations can undertake influencing activities, from developing a manifesto to hosting election events or hustings. 

This event is open to all ACF members, whether they have already started engaging in influencing, are still contemplating the idea or are just curious about the approaches taken by foundations during an election cycle.  

Sign up here - 10-11am on Thursday 16 May 2024 

Looking ahead 

Once the General Election is called, we intend to hold an event to examine the political parties’ manifestos and vision for government – watch this space.  

Later in the year we will also explore how foundations can work effectively with the new government as it progresses with its commitments, whatever form it takes.  

We invite members to share their thoughts on how we can provide further support during this election year. Please feel free to contact us at: [email protected]