Follow the trail
Organisations and publications which can help you with developing a campaign.
- Lobby / research organisations.
- On the web: campaigning tips, using the internet, campaign sites.
- Lobbying page which covers National, Local, European and Regional governmental contacts, political parties. Also Freedom of Information.
- Regulatory bodies, including the Ombudsman, government audit.
- Research resources page (issues of particular interest to the sector).
- Dealing with the media and PR has mainly links to Press: directories, resources and listings; PR Services; Alternative media. Also something on the issues.
- On the Areas of Concern 'front page' we have a Government/democracy/media section, covering censorship, electoral reform etc.
This activity 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 a few tips and ideas from our own experience.
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
- Function specific charity umbrella/membership bodies (eg finance, law) or
- Research resources e.g. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Policy Research Institute.
See Marketing Publications page for a number of titles on Campaigning and Communications.
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'.
Chris Rose, previously with Greenpeace, at campaign strategy has a page of resources as well as 12 basic guidelines for campaigning, and advanced tips. Also see: Seeds for Change Resources page; Networking Newsletter has resources for Manchester campaigners.
Campaign Central, from Sheila McKechnie Foundation, with useful Know-How and Resources sections.
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.
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 was covered in a page on Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations' web site, gone in redesign summer 2010? 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.
Campaigning via the Net
eCampaigning Forum Network (or alternative link) is aiming "to share expertise, explore where eCampaigning is going, strengthen the eCampaigning community and increase our capacity to use new media to stimulate change".
NetAction is an American organisation with a training guide about how to use email and web based tools in campaigning - The Virtual Activist.
See our WebTips for starting points on using the web and email as communication tools.
Software - we need to connect this with our software section! 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.
Louder ("together we are louder") is developed by NCVO, intending to be the home of e-campaigning.
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.
- Social networking sites like Facebook can be used to set up groups bringing together individuals interested in particular issues.