Charities urged to go local in campaigns

Charities and campaigning groups have been advised to form local coalitions if they are to survive the cuts to local government.

Local campaigners: working together
Local campaigners: working together

A seminar held on 14 September by Media Trust saw charity PR professionals and thought leaders from local government debating the impact of the new political climate on charity campaigning.

Charities were advised to be hyper-local with their campaigning, while avoiding a scattergun approach.

Emily Robinson, Local Government Association head of public affairs and campaigns, said: 'Working together is key when drumming up support locally. Councils struggle when local organisations and charities fight among themselves. Organisations need to co-operate and form a coalition.'

Robin Millar, Centre for Social Justice programme director, said that local councils needed to ensure they had effective policies to support and encourage voluntary and community groups.

Millar also called for local government not to be short-sighted with cuts: 'The important role that many charities play in mending our broken society becomes even more relevant now money is short. The public sector must see beyond the short-term measures of efficiencies and bottom-line costs.'

Conservative MP Douglas Carswell warned charities that receive some degree of public money that the rules on lobbying were about to change: 'If you are a lobbying organisation and receiving public money, you need to look again at your activities and not hire lobbyists to do the lobbying for you.'

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