Campaigning can range from being pretty straightforward to very sophisticated – it depends on your resources and aims. Sometimes the quick and dirty approach can be more effective, if you happen to strike at a good time on an issue which hits the spot for your target decision makers/influencers.
There are remarkably few generally useful campaigning guides and courses around. Some organisations listed under Areas of Concern have their own campaign manuals focusing on their interests, so if you are involved in a like-minded body, why not ask? We have put together a page with some thoughts on campaigning from our own experience.
For social action, community campaigns and the like, see Community Group Resources page.
Campaigning Resources - Contents
LMSC – the Legislation Monitoring Service for Charities, voluntary organisations and their advisers. ‘Subscribers (are) kept abreast of developments in Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels’. Policy as well as law, quarterly reports. 12 Little College Street, London, SW1P 3SH, phone 020 7222 1265, email: email@example.com
Political Wizard provides various services for a fee, including parliamentary and political monitoring, other political information, and an online campaigning toolkit.
Organisations with specific concerns (who may well be lobbying and/or researching on those issues) are listed on VolResource under
– Areas of Concern or
– Issue specific charity umbrella/membership bodies or
– Research resources e.g. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Policy Research Institute.
Vacher’s Parliamentary Companion. Basic information on all MPs and peers, government ministers etc. Regularly updated. A6 size (pocket sixe) £30-00 subscription, £10-50 single copies, A5 £35 sub, £11-50 single. Contact Vacher Dod Publishing, PO Box 3700, Westminster, London, SW1E 5NP, phone 020 7828 7256.
UKOP Online provides ‘The complete catalogue of all official publications including both Stationery Office and departmental or “non-Stationery Office” publications from 1980 to the present’.
- The campaign strategy website from Chris Rose (previously with Greenpeace) has a page of resources as well as 12 basic guidelines for campaigning, and advanced tips, and an occasional newsletter.
- Seeds for Change Resources page.
- Sheila McKechnie Foundation had a useful Campaign Central site, but good practice resources for campaigning are now on their main site.
- WriteToThem is a facility aimed at individuals to communicate easily with their MP, but also local councillors, European parliament members. Works on postcode, and also connects to appropriate Register of Interests, political party and parliamentary speeches. From the same stable (mySociety), TheyWorkForYou keeps tabs on activity in parliament – official statements, debates, committees etc.
- Have Your Say, produced by official government publisher The Stationery Office (new 2007), provides information on new Parliamentary publications; a news service that rounds up the week’s key Parliamentary Papers, describing the background, context and likely impact; plus information on how to contribute to the legislation process and useful links.
- An old article from SCVO covered the position of charities in Scotland with respect to political campaigning in the absence of a clear legal position north of the border and the usefulness of Charity Commission guidance. As they say, there are no explicit restrictions on campaigning by charities under Scottish charity legislation, although political parties or organisations set up to advance a political party can’t be charities.
- We also like The Tyee, from Canada, which has a CitizenToolkit with interesting pieces.
- Campaign Creator, a pilot project from Bristol Council, has wrapped up – there’s an evaluation report available on the site. Scarman Trust was looking at a relaunch but probably abandoned. The site also has guidance for those new to campaigning, produced with the help of Friends of the Earth.
- Central Lobby is a part of PoliticsHome, and provides a directory of member experts – charities can sign up to be part of this.
- Social networking sites like Facebook can be used to set up groups bringing together individuals interested in particular issues.
- The eCampaigning Forum community is a loose network of practitioners using digital media for campaigning and advocacy. There is an annual eCampaigning Forum event – see more details from FairSay, a company supporting campaigners.
- NetAction is an American organisation with a training guide about how to use email and web based tools in campaigning – The Virtual Activist.
- Software Engaging Networks (previously Advocacy Online) is a UK provider of e-campaigning software. CiviCRM is an add-on to Drupal or Joomla open source CMS (web based) systems designed particularly to meet the needs of advocacy groups. See Political Wizard under Lobby Organisations above, too. Also check our Software page