5-Day Workshop: Influencing Change London

Advanced campaign training for change-makers

What is Influencing Change?

Influencing Change London is our flagship five-day training programme for campaigners and change-makers looking to take their skills to the next level. The course touches on the basics of planning and delivering a campaign and then builds on this to look at best and next practice in campaigning and social change. Our aim is to ensure you leave this course with new knowledge, tools and networks that can help you make the change you seek.

The course takes place over five-days spread over three months. Course content includes the fundamentals of planning a campaign from strategy to evaluation, as well as discrete content including digital tools; influencing Parliament; using the law; the power of creativity; working in coalitions; mobilising supporters and self-care for campaigners. Alongside core content, you will hear from leading thinkers and practitioners in the campaign community – and be given lots of space and support to work in groups and alone to apply what you learn to your own work.

The programme has previously featured insights from some prominent heavyweights in the world of campaigning, including, No More Page 3, Shelter, Friends of the Earth, NSPCC, The Hillsborough Campaign and 38 degrees. As well as sessions run by, the Houses of Parliament, New Philanthropy Capital, BBC, and The Daily Mail.

By taking part in Influencing Change London, you will also be automatically enrolled onto our alumni network and invited to two networking events each year.

Is there an option for follow-up support?

The programme also features the option to purchase follow-up mentoring support with a highly skilled campaign coach, and the annual alumni networking event is a great space for ongoing sharing and reflection with fellow campaigners.

The deadline for applications is now closed. Please sign up for our newsletter to get alerts on 2018 applications.

  • I have a much better understanding of the full process of planning and delivering a campaign, being completely new to a campaigning role this has been invaluable. The varied programme that was tailored to the needs of the attendees was really beneficial to my development. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this excellent training.

    vicky horne
    Vicky Horne, Influencing Change London 2017
  • The training helped me to understand how to go about planning and executing a campaign both theoretically and practically from meeting firsthand some great campaigners who came to speak with us on the course. The critical knowledge and skills I have developed have put me in great stead to move the campaign forward. It has helped me to think logically about campaigning and whether this was the best approach to achievement of the goals I wanted to achieve.

    elsie gayle
    Elsie Gayle, Influencing Change West Midlands 2016

What will I learn?

Theory and strategy

Day One will provide a comprehensive orientation of what we mean by ‘campaigning’ and consider different types of models of change-making. We will look at some of the big trends affecting campaigning today and how these might affect your efforts. We will then introduce you to the foundations of planning a campaign – from clarifying aims & objectives to identifying solutions. Expect to hear from the UK’s lead thinkers and writers on contemporary campaigning.

What to do when, and having a plan

Day Two builds on the previous day to consider how best to achieve your campaign goals, looking at the spectrum of tools and tactics in the campaigning tool bag – from creativity to coalitions. Having decided on how you will make the change you seek, we will then look at theories of change to help you express your plan in a clear yet adaptable model – crucial for internal buy-in and external engagement, notably with funders. We will share a number of case studies and hear from someone who has led a particularly innovative campaign.

Getting your voice heard by those you want to hear

Day Three is about communicating. The day will help you clarify priority audiences, explore framing and messaging; and consider the pros and cons of different channels from word of mouth to social media. We will also consider the respective benefits of different recruitment strategies, from mass engagement to supporter mobilisation. To round things off, we’ll also practise pitching and getting your voice heard in less than a minute.

Influencing power and decision makers

Day Four is about influencing formal power – so government. We will provide a detailed briefing on the structure and process of national and local government, touching also on the EU. We will consider how best to influence these institutions and the people within them, touching on the do’s and don’ts of lobbying; when to use petitions; how best to use the law; and when to stay outside of power and use direct action and protest. You will also hear from a speaker who has led a campaign that has succeeded in influencing government.

qualities of effective campaigners and avoiding burnout

Day five looks at what it takes to be a campaigner and the importance of nurturing your well-being during demanding and stressful times. Campaigners come in many shapes and sizes but there are some attributes that all campaigners need. We’ll look at what it takes to be an effective change-maker, and how to continually learn and develop. We’ll also offer some TLC, recognising that it is not always easy trying to change the world. Expect some advice on keeping your energy going, avoiding burn out and how to get help when you need it.

You are eligible to apply to participate in Influencing Change 2017 if:

  • you and/or your organisation are based in London.
  • you are 18 years or older;
  • you are available on all five of the course dates;
  • you are relatively new to the field of campaigning, or maybe you’ve been campaigning for several years but have never received any formal training;
  • you are currently involved in a campaign or about to start working on a campaign;
  • a significant proportion of your (proposed) campaign’s beneficiaries need to be based in London (although your campaign can be UK-wide).

While we want to ensure that we can continue to provide sustainable support to grassroots campaigners for free, we ask those individuals and organisations who can afford it to pay a fee (although this is still heavily subsidised). The fees are as follows:

The following fees apply to staff AND volunteers:

  • Large organisations (charities with a turnover of more than £5m; Local Authorities and private sector): £950
  • Medium organisations (turnover between £500k – £5m): £750
  • Small organisations (turnover between £100k – £500k): £520
  • Very small organisations (turnover less than £100k): £230
  • Individuals (this ticket type is for individuals who are NOT affiliated to an organisation or campaign group): £130
  • Individuals (unwaged/students/low income) and grassroots groups with NO funds: FREE (please note, we cannot cover travel or other costs you may incur in attending)

“Being profoundly deaf, campaigning for the rights of Deaf people has always been something I have been passionate about, whether it be educating hearing people about communication needs or reinforcing the responsibility of service providers under the Equality Act 2010. When I became a Senior Campaigner for Action on Hearing Loss in 2013 I struggled to bring this experience to my role, and more so, create concrete campaign plans and later bring them to life.

The Shelia McKechnie Foundation Influencing Change programme came just at the right time as I was at the beginning of developing a campaign to change the ‘hearts and minds’ of employers when employing/retaining staff who are deaf or have a hearing loss. During the first session my original campaign strategy was immediately scrapped! Some may have been broken by the thought of starting again, but for me it was as if the light had been switched on, everything just fell into place. I had been looking at the strategy from the wrong perspective. I also finally understood how to evaluate the success of the campaign against what I had set out to achieve.

Overall, Influencing Change was a well-balanced programme of presentations from those who have been there and done that, with experience of delivering successful and not so successfully campaigns, group activities with peers who brought with them a variety of experiences and needs, there was also guidance from those in the know regarding how to influence local and national government. There was also session on how social media can bring campaigns to life, with calls to action and so on.

Although, some may hate the thought of partaking in role-plays, I relish these activities, and find they aid my learning style well. I particularly enjoyed the activity whereby I was stuck in a lift for 1 minute with a particular MP where I bombarded him with the finer details of my campaign (he obviously succumbed to my request to put the world to rights).

As I now have the knowledge and tools run a campaign from start to finish I am a stronger campaigner, both personally and professionally. “

Tanvir Ahmed
Senior Campaigner for Action on Hearing Loss
Influencing Change Midlands 2015-16

For information about our policy concerning refunds, cancellations and non-attendance, please refer to our Terms and Conditions for SMK training programmes.

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Karen5-Day Workshop: Influencing Change London