15 great reads for campaigners from 2015

Every year I collate a list of some of my favourite readings from the year. So settle in with a glass of mulled wine and enjoy…
Is Too Much Funding Going to Social Entrepreneurs—And Too Little to Social Movements? – This article totally hits the nail on the head about why we need to invest in advocacy, despite all the challenges.
Are Uber and Facebook Turning Users into Lobbyists? – Is the the new face of campaigning? More here.
How We Won Marriage: 10 Lessons Learned – A great playbook from one of the big campaign wins in 2015 in the US.
Why Nonprofit Leadership is so Darn Hard – because it is!
Taking a Cinderella issue to the ball: 11 lessons from a long campaign – I’m a huge fan of the work that Shelter have done to get housing up the political agenda. This is a great summary.
What are the implications of ‘doing development differently’ for NGO Campaigns and Advocacy? – Duncan Green at his challenging best.
2015 really was the first digital general election: here are 7 lessons you should know – remember the election – lots of good learning about what the Conservatives did to win, see also Paul Abbott at ConHome and Jon Quinn.
Slacktivism is having a powerful real-world impact, new research shows – time to revisit the assumptions about the impact of slacktivism  – plus more here on why people protest.
Advocacy and Lobbying: What Can We Learn from the Bad Guys – we spend lots of time learning from our friends but what about those we target (clue – they often focus on obscure processes)
How the Mad Men lost the plot – Ian Leslie on how advertising is changing, but lots of application to campaigning and how we get our messages across.
Inside the war on coal – This week many have celebrated the successful conclusion of the climate negotiations in Paris, but the story of how groups like the Sierra Club have built momentum in the US is part of the untold story of how that deal could be reached.
Mobilising vs organising – This is a great summary of a cracking book. Looking forward to welcoming Hahrie Han to the UK next year.
Inside Invisible Children’s massive grassroots network – I could have selected dozens of articles from Mobilisation Lab but this is fascinating. If you’ve not already you need to sign up for there regular Dispatch mailing.
Charities shouldn’t campaign? History suggests otherwise… – 2015 has been a tough year when it comes to the space to campaign this reminds us our work is critical
Upwell – sad to see the end of this project to get people talking and advocating about oceans, but he blog lives on packed full of insight about how to get your issue into conversation on social media.
What have you read this year that you’ve enjoyed? Please use the comments below to post your favourite campaign reads from 2015.

Winning in 2014 – 7 great campaigns from the last year

Owen Jones is spot on, 2014 is the year that grassroots campaigns like E15 Mums have taken on the powerful and won, but here are a few of the other campaigns that have impressed me in last 12 months.
1 – AGM Army – Share Action – this small team are building an army of shareholder activists who are become the scourge of corporates, with their AGM Army turning up at annual meetings across the year, calling on Tesco to commit to a Living Wage to asking Greggs about animal welfare, I love how they’re taking a campaigning approach that has existed for year, and with digital tools and good old fashioned training helping to show that the simple act of owning a share gives huge influence. This article is a great summary of what they’re doing.
2 – Towns Against Tax Dodging – Action Aid – I’ve had a long-held admiration from the innovative and creative approach that the team at Action Aid take, from tax to biofuels, I get excited when their latest mailing arrives on my doormat, I love their smart campaigning thinking about new targets and approaches, rather than simply focusing on the traditional trinity of MPs, Whitehall and the UN. The recently launched Towns Against Tax Dodging is a brilliant way example of this.
3 – Rainbow Laces – Stonewall – Off the back of a huge victory on Gay Marriage last year, you might have expected them to take some time to reflect on what’s next (although if you know any of the team you’d have known that was unlikely to be the case, instead they come back with innovative new campaigning , like Rainbow Laces, focusing on kicking homophobia out of football, partnering with Paddy Power to send laces to every Premiership team. The ability to bring the voices of well known brands into their campaigning is seriously impressive.
4 – Unmute – Which – I’m continually impressed by the tone and approach of the campaigns from an organisation focused on being a consumer champion. They mix it up with a range of approaches, for example with the Unmute campaign which mobilised 50,000 to unlock a exclusive track from George The Poet, unlike many organisation that has been campaigning for years, they seem to have been able to adapt their approach to mirror the membership and consultation approach that has been pioneered by digital platforms.

5 – People’s Climate March – 350.org – one of the organisations behind the People’s Climate Marches in September which seem to have reenergised the climate movement. I’ve been a long time fan of the approach which seeks to blend the best of community organising and digital activism across so many countries.
6 – Stop TTIP – 38 Degrees – perhaps a predictable choice, but I’ve been seriously inspired by the way that they’re building an organisational model that takes the best of their digital platform and allows them to mobilises offline as well as quickly online. Getting 10,000 people out in September to campaign on TTIP is just the latest example of this approach, it’s easy to be critical of ‘clicktivism’ but they’re showing that the approach can be used to do so much more.
7 – Space for Cycling – London Cycling Campaign – who used local elections in London back in May to target candidates with ultra-local campaign asks sourced from their supporters for each of London’s 629 election wards, an impressive achievement combined with a brilliant website, helping to ensure their asks got traction with candidates across the capital.