NCVO seeks funds to set up 'hub' for campaigns

Tania Mason

The NCVO has applied to the Big Lottery Fund for a £640,000 grant to set up a central resource to help voluntary organisations boost their campaigning ability.

The plan is that the centre for campaigning effectiveness would act as a sort of seventh 'hub', as none of the six existing ChangeUp hubs count campaigning as part of their remit.

Chris Stalker, head of campaigns and communications at the NCVO, said the application to the fund's strategic grants programme was submitted in June and he hoped to have an answer within a few days.

The grant would cover the running of the centre for three years, including the salaries of four staff. It would be based within the NCVO's policy department to begin with, but could become a separate entity in the long-term.

Stalker said the NCVO had deliberately avoided applying to the Government for the funds, because much campaigning is targeted at government.

However, he added that the NCVO endorsed many principles of the hubs: that they are "independent, are about working in partnership, are outcomes-oriented and are sector-owned", and would instil these into the latest 'hub'. The NCVO is the accountable body for three of the six hubs.

The NCVO has emphasised the sector's campaigning and advocacy role at a time of increased focus on public service contracts.

In March, it published its Good Campaigns Guide: Campaigning for Impact, which Stalker says was used as a manifesto for the proposed unit.

The centre would house two main divisions: research and development, which would identify trends in effective campaigning, and training and capacity building, which would disseminate lessons at a national and local level.

If the application is successful, the NCVO will work with various "delivery partners", including the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, which would plan and deliver campaigning training seminars for people in small and medium-sized charities, and Dod's Parliamentary Communications, which would devise a certificate in campaigning.

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