Cosying up to MPs 'best way for charities to lobby'

nfpSynergy report canvasses views from parliamentarians

Building a relationship with a small group of politicians is the most effective way to influence policy, according to new research by sector think tank nfpSynergy.

The poll asked 160 MPs to choose two from a range of nine possible options for how they would spend a limited lobbying budget if they worked for a charity.

Fifty-five per cent chose "building a relationship with 10 key MPs" as one of their options. Forty-five per cent recommended encouraging the public to lobby their local MPs.

Thirty-six per cent suggested building relationships with relevant select committees or all-party parliamentary groups.

Fewer MPs thought traditional marketing and publicity techniques were effective, with 12 per cent suggesting releasing news bulletins, 11 per cent holding Westminster receptions and 3 per cent hiring public affairs agencies.

Gemma Tracey, a researcher for nfpSynergy, said the study recommended a targeted and local approach to lobbying.

"Cost-effective charities should always endeavour to avoid unselective scattergun tactics," she said.

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