I’m sad to see the end of the NCVO Campaigning Effectiveness project (which has included the Forum for Change site) which closes today as the current funding streams that sustain it come to an end.
While it’s perhaps inevitable in the context of reduced funding to the sector, it’s going to be missed, and it leaves a void as it was the only project or organisation in the UK looking to capture and share best practice and upcoming trends across the sector.
I’ve been following its work for the last 3 years or so, and think that the project has made a huge contribution to the work of campaigners in the UK, it’s been a much-needed resource as the sector has made the journey to increase professionalism. I’m sure that not everything that the program set out to do has been achieved, and it’s encountered challenges on the way, but I’m certain that the legacy of the project and the work of the staff will go on.
Across the sector, we should be really appreciative of the work the project has done, so thanks to all those who’ve worked on it, and a personal thanks to Nicola Gilbert and Philip Hadley who I’ve had most to do with on the project.
I know personally how much I’ve benefited from the resources that they’ve produced, which I’ve literally sent around the world to encourage others to use, and I’ve had many colleagues who’ve enjoyed the training and networking events they’ve organised. But beyond that it’s been great to be able to have a space to share learning across all those within the voluntary sector who’ve been involved or are looking to get involved in campaigning. I suspect that some of the smaller organisations will feel the impact of the projects end the most.
As Philip writes in his last blog post, the legacy of the project is going to be carried on via a forum on the NCVO website, so although no new publications will be produced, it’s encouraging that a space will continue for discussion (if you haven’t already do consider engaging in some of the lively debates that are starting on the forum).
By way of marking the work of the project, and doing my part in ensuring its legacy, I thought I’d share the 4 resources they’ve produced over the lifespan of the project that I’ve found most useful.
1. Tips on Good Practice in Campaigning – this was one of the first resources I came across from the project. The guide, written by Tess Kingham and Jim Coe is a treasure trove of useful information and ideas about effective campaigning. Ever since I first found it, it’s been the document I’ve recommended to those looking to understand campaigning. In short, it’s excellent.
2. Inspiring Supporter Action – Part of a series produced in conjunction with BOND, an excellent tool in thinking about how to engage supporters. Another document I’ve shared with lots of colleagues who’ve been thinking about getting started in campaigning.
3. Campaigning for Change: Learning from the USA – I’ve not blogged on this yet, but by commissioning this research from Brian Lamb, which looks at some key thinking about measuring the impact of advocacy coming from the US, the Campaigning Effectiveness project has helped to introduce and expose UK campaigners to some fascinating new thinking which the sector would do well to consider how it could implement.
4. Future Focus 7: What will campaigning be like in 5 years’ time? – a great document which makes you think about how the campaign landscape might change in the coming years, and what the sector might need to do to respond to these challenges and opportunities.
How about you? Which NCVO Campaigning Effectiveness resources have you found most useful?