the voices
of campaigners

Every year, the Sheila McKechnie Foundation asks campaigners what’s going on in their world.  

Our 2019 survey was the biggest yet. Nearly 200 change-makers, from organisations big and small, shared their views about the environment for campaigning (see results below).

Our 2020 Campaigner Survey is now open to change-makers of all kinds – professional campaigners, individual activists, community organisers, volunteers and trustees. If you work to create social change, this survey is for you! 

The 2020 Campaigner Survey is now open

Our Annual Campaigner Survey helps us speak up more powerfully for change-makers in the UK. The deadline has been extended until midnight Friday 20th November. 

What did the 2019 Campaigner Survey tell us?

Civil society organisations are starting to be more confident about campaigning.
After years of feeling the ‘chilling effect’ of legislation and media narratives, nearly a third said things have got better for campaigning in the last year. Though 87% still say that the legitimacy of campaigning is under threat.

But public and political attitudes are at odds.
48% believe that public attitudes to campaigning have become more positive in the past year, but they report increasingly negative attitudes amongst politicians (45%) and the media (41%).

What is helping?
More public action through movements like XR and #MeToo, and the passionate public debate around Brexit. More cross-sector collaboration. Clearer Lobbying Act guidance.

What’s not?
Political upheaval and Brexit. Polarisation of UK society. Dismissal of evidence-based policy-making. Desire not to ‘rock the boat’ while funding is scarce.

Previous SMK Campaigner Survey results


2019 Results

Read more >


2018 Results

Read more >


2017 Results

Read more >


2016 Results

Read more >

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