Influencing Change London

Advanced campaign training for London based change-makers

What is Influencing Change?

Influencing Change is our flagship five-day training programme for campaigners looking to take their skills to the next level. Refresh your knowledge of planning and delivering a campaign, then look at best and next practice in social change. You’ll leave with new knowledge, tools, confidence and networks to help you make the change you seek.

Taking place over five days spread over three months, content includes:

  • Current trends in campaigning and change-making
  • The fundamentals of planning a campaign
  • Tools, tactics and theories of change
  • Framing, messaging and mobilisation
  • Influencing politicians and using the law
  • Working collaboratively and the power of creativity
  • Meaningful monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • Self-care for campaigners.

You will also hear from leading thinkers and practitioners in the campaign community. Previous courses have featured campaigning heavyweights, such as 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, the BBC, and The Daily Mail.

We’ll support you to develop ideas alone and in groups, and apply what you learn to your own work.

You’ll also become a member of our Influencing Change London alumni network and be invited to two networking events each year.

Is there an option for follow-up support?

We offer the option to purchase follow-up mentoring support with a highly skilled campaign coach. And our alumni networking events are a great space for ongoing sharing and reflection with fellow campaigners.

When does it take place?

Day 1: Tuesday 22 January
Day 2: Wednesday 23 January
Day 3: Monday 25 February
Day 4: Tuesday 26 February
Day 5: Tuesday 26 March

Each day will take place at Trust for London, 4 Chiswell Street, London, EC1Y 4UP.

Great! How do i apply?

Sorry, applications for Influencing Change 2019 are now closed. To receive alerts on upcoming training – including Influencing Change – sign-up to our newsletter here.

How will the training benefit me?

Don’t just take our word for it! Take a look at the impact Influencing Change has had on previous participants.

What will I learn?

Theory and strategy

Day One will provide a comprehensive orientation as to what is meant by ‘campaigning’ and consider different types and models of change-making. We will draw on SMK’s recently published Social Power report to consider how social change is happening today, and look at the big trends affecting campaigning and how these might affect your efforts.

We will then introduce you to the foundations of planning a campaign – from clarifying aims & objectives to using analytical tools to identify solutions. Expect to hear from one of UK’s the 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 plan to 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.

Self-care and energy

Day five looks at what it takes to be a campaigner and the importance of nurturing your wellbeing 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.


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 by Trust for London). 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)

Load More

You are eligible to apply to participate in Influencing Change 2019 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).

Load More

The deadline for applications is 5pm Wednesday 12 December.

Load More

  • 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
  • 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

Organisations we’ve worked with

More training

1-Day Workshop

We run half-day and one-day introductory level campaign workshops throughout the UK to equip people with the skills to bring about change at a local or national level.


Our masterclasses invite highly experienced campaigners, researchers and commentators to share their knowledge and expertise. These workshops provide detailed technical information and insight about strategies and tactics.

Commissioned Consultancy

We offer a wide range of consultancy support in all aspects of planning, delivering and evaluating campaigns. Our services are delivered by SMK staff and our network of over thirty SMK Associates, all of whom are themselves highly experienced and knowledgeable campaigners.

KarenInfluencing Change London