Sticking To Their Knitting: Charities, Campaigning & Politics
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Director of the think tank, Why Philanthropy Matters, and author of What is Philanthropy For? (2023, Bristol University Press)
Challenging those in power through advocacy and campaigning has always been a vital role of voluntary organisations. Yet there have long been critics who question the legitimacy of such approaches and accuse campaigning charities of going beyond their remit and "straying into politics". In this session, Rhodri Davies will explore the historical background to this debate and what it can tell us about the challenges facing charities today. Does the rule prohibiting charities from having political purposes, for instance, stem from a historical error? Should we consider abandoning it? And as 'culture war' debates spread and extend the boundaries of what is deemed to be political, do charities face more challenges than ever before when it comes to campaigning?