FUNDRAISING NEWS: Liberty targets lawyers to boost human rights

Liberty is resurrecting its Lawyers for Liberty fundraising programme as it attempts to establish itself as a major player in human rights campaigning in the UK.

The organisation wants legal professionals to adopt the charity and has hired a Lawyers for Liberty co-ordinator to attract the support of lawyers across the UK.

"We let the Lawyers for Liberty campaign drift about four years ago, but we want to pick it up and really push the programme in an effort to promote our cause and recruit new members," said Steven Montgomery, director of development at Liberty.

The programme is part of a strategy to target niche audiences who are sympathetic to Liberty's work in tackling human rights issues in the UK.

The charity has found it hard to generate voluntary income and hopes the new fundraising initiatives will triple the amount it receives from its membership by 2006. One problem is a belief that human rights abuse is an international and not a domestic issue.

"People think of human rights abuse as something that only happens abroad, but what we're now seeing is a more surveillance-orientated approach to government, which could infringe our human rights," said Montgomery.

Liberty is looking to move into new areas of activity such as face-to-face and telephone fundraising and will extend its current direct marketing programme.

"For a long while we've struggled to put across our issues effectively, but everybody is interested in the things we work on such as criminal justice, ID cards, privacy and surveillance," said Montgomery. "We need to start getting people to associate our name with these issues."

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