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Political Campaigning

26 Sep 2019

Political campaigning – for example taking a position for or against a change in policy or legislation – is a legitimate way for many charities to achieve what they were set up for, their charitable purposes.

Under Scottish charity law, your charity can campaign if:

  • it is advancing your charitable purposes
  • your governing document does not prevent the activity
  • you are not advancing a political party and,
  • you can show you are acting in the charity’s best interests.

However, an organisation set up to be a political party or to advance a political party cannot become a charity.

To help you understand the rules, OSCR has general guidance for charities on campaigning about political issues. In the form of Frequently Asked Questions, the guidance is aimed at supporting charities in meeting the requirements of electoral and charity law.

Sometimes charities will need to comply with Electoral law and the Electoral Commission has produced new guidance that supports charities to campaign with confidence all year-round. The Commission has worked closely with charities to produce this resource, using real-life case studies to provide clear, authoritative advice to campaigners.