Charities 'should campaign more'

The NCVO has called on charities to invest more in campaigners in order to influence the new Brown government.

According to Chris Stalker, the umbrella body’s head of Campaigning Effectiveness, the new Prime Minister has given a clear sign that he wants to encourage the campaigning role of the sector by considering a relaxation on the rules on political activities by charities.

But charities need to re-assess the weight they give to campaigning to take advantage of the new climate.

“Gordon Brown has show that campaigning is at the top of his agenda,” said Stalker. “In order to capitalise on this, organisations must invest time and money in maximising the skills of their campaigners and their ability to campaign. Up until now, investment in campaigning has all too often been way down the list of priorities.”

Stalker’s call came as the NCVO announced the second round of the Certificate in Campaigning course, run by its Campaigning Effectiveness Programme.

The ten-module course, which was introduced last year, includes a guide to the UK’s political institutions and an examination of the theory and practice of effective campaigning. Jonathan Ellis, director of policy at the Refugee Council is among the speakers.

Former Labour MP and Oxfam campaigner Tess Kingham, said: “Charities need to be strategic in their campaigning, understand how the political system ticks and how best to work it. This course takes charity campaigners through that process and helps them gain the confidence, skills and knowledge to make the most of their opportunities.”

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