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Getting Brexit done may mean more space to push other issues up agenda, finds NCVO

Getting Brexit done may mean more space to push other issues up agenda, finds NCVO

Pressure on funding will continue and charities will need to carry on navigating changes in the political landscape as the country moves into the next phase of its exit from the EU. However, there may be more space to push other issues up the political agenda, according to a new report from NCVO.

Published today (27 January), The Road Ahead 2020 provides NCVO’s annual analysis of the pressures facing the charity sector in the next 12 months. 

While it says Brexit will continue to consume substantial government resources as the country moves into the transition period, charities may now find they have more political space in which to campaign for social change, although progress could be slow.

The report also warns that the UK’s economic circumstances are likely to remain deeply uncertain with key areas of charity activity – including poverty relief, social care provision, homelessness support and welfare reform – remaining in high demand.

However, Extinction Rebellion and other decentralised movements provide one potential model for securing support and engagement from the next generation of volunteers, with the report suggesting that charities may look to learn from emerging models driven by younger donors and volunteers who are engaged by the cause but agnostic about the sector delivering it.

Using a PEST analysis to outline the different drivers in society and politics and their likely impact on charities, The Road Ahead 2020 also looks at the opportunity for charities to be influential local voices as the political focus moves to ‘left behind’ towns and cities, the digital future for charities, and the future of fundraising.

Sarah Vibert, Director of Public Policy and Volunteering at NCVO, said:

“While we must not underestimate the continued challenges Brexit and the economy will pose for charities over the next 12 months, I am tentatively hopeful we will see the beginnings of a different operating environment this year.

“The government is keen to move on from Brexit monopolising public debate and this gives the sector an opportunity to push other issues higher up the agenda.  We also need to hold the government to account for the spending promises of the election and push for this to translate to more money at community level.

“Charities have a crucial role to play in reducing social isolation, providing places for people to come together, and hosting causes around which to unite. NCVO will work with the new government to ensure our sector is central to shaping the country’s future.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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