Influencing Change is our flagship five-day training programme for those looking to take their skills to the next level. Participants begin with a deep immersion in how social change is happening today, looking at key drivers and emerging trends. We will then cover how to design and activate a campaign, from planning to final evaluation. You’ll leave with new knowledge and tools, and the confidence and networks to help you make the change you seek.

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

  • How social change is happening today, key drivers and trends and the ‘Twelve Habits of Effective Change-Makers’
  • Current context for charity campaigning – legal freedoms and limits
  • The fundamentals of planning a campaign – from power analysis to setting clear objectives
  • Tools, tactics and theories of change
  • Audiences, framing, messaging and mobilisation
  • Using your voice (with Viv Goskrop)
  • External influencing: decision-makers and using the law
  • Internal influencing: approvals and integration
  • Meaningful monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • Self-care for campaigners and change makers.

You will also hear from leading thinkers and practitioners in the campaign community. Previous courses have featured sessions from:

  • Let Us Learn
  • Crisis
  • No More Page Three
  • The Hillsborough Campaign
  • 38 degrees
  • Citizens UK

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 – a great space for ongoing sharing and reflection with fellow campaigners.

Is there an option for follow-up support?

We offer the option to purchase follow-up mentoring support with a highly skilled coach.

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 how social change is happening today, drawing on SMK’s ground-breaking Social Power report. We will look at key drivers and emerging trends to consider best approaches to pursuing change. We’ll take a look at language and consider what terminology works best for which audiences. And we’ll refresh our understanding of the current regulatory environment for charity campaigners.

We will then introduce you to the ‘Twelve Habits of Effective Change-Makers’ – exploring the ways successful campaigners think and behave.

Expect to hear from one of UK’s the leading thinkers on contemporary campaigning.

What to do when, and having a plan

Day two considers how best to plan your campaign, building on what we learned on day one. We will cover power analysis, setting clear objectives, the spectrum of tools and tactics in the campaigning toolkit, creativity and collaboration. Having decided how you’ll 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. This is crucial for internal buy-in and external engagement, notably with funders. We will share 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 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 stakeholders – both inside and outside your organisation. We will take a close look at influencing government, working with the Parliamentary Outreach Service to give a detailed briefing on the structure and process of national and local government, touching also on the EU. We’ll examine 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. You will hear from a speaker who has led a campaign that has succeeded in influencing government. We will also consider some of the internal influencing campaigners often find they have to undertake, to secure buy-in and support from their own organisations.

Self-care and energy

Day five looks at measurement, evaluation and learning (MEL). Trying to track and report on campaign success is a notoriously difficult task. Change is complex, and rarely are we acting alone. We will share some of the most up to date thinking on how to evaluate campaigns and meaningfully learn something in the process.

Then we get personal. We’ll consider 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.

Great! How do i apply?

The application process is really simple, click the button below to complete our online application form by 5pm Friday 6th December.

Still not sure if Influencing Change is right for you?

Don’t worry, we’re running a free one-hour Influencing Change morning taster session on Tuesday 5th November (9-10am) at The Foundry. Not only will we provide you with tea, coffee and cake (yum!) but you’ll also find out what our five-day training covers, who it is aimed at and what you should expect to get out of it – so you know if it’s right for you. The taster session will include a guest speaker from a previous Influencing Change programme and time to look at our Social Change Grid – featured in our latest Social Power report. If you’d like to attend, email us.


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)

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

You are eligible to apply to participate in Influencing Change 2020 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).

If you meet most of the criteria, but not all, drop us an email and we’ll see if there’s a workaround.

The application process is really simple. Before applying, please make sure you fit the eligibility criteria above. If you do, head over to our online application form, where we’ll ask you some questions about your experience of campaigning and what you’re currently working on at the moment (or what you plan to do once you’re skilled up!)

After the application deadline at 5pm on Friday 6th December, we’ll go through all the applications and see who’s best matched for the programme. Whether your application is successful or not, we’ll reach out to you in mid December to let you know the outcome.

If you have a question that isn’t answered on this page, would like to know more about the training, or want to attend our free taster session on Tuesday 5th November (9:00-10:00), drop us an email.

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