Why get into campaigning?
Although working for a charity doesn’t start you off in that penthouse flat in Kensington, it’s very rewarding when you see your work benefiting the cause you are supporting. Communications, campaigning and marketing are especially vital resources for NGOs who may not have the budgets for big advertising campaigns, but want to reach their target audience using their money and resources efficiently.
What does campaigning involve?
Competition between charities is tough. You need the right marketing materials to reach your target supporter audience. It’s important for the public to recognise your brand, whether your logo is a flower or a blood cell. The aim is to generate wide recognition, so people identify and want to support your cause, either by attending events, making significant donations or fundraising for you.
Campaigning is an incredibly important activity. Holding a parliamentary reception to introduce MPs to the charity is a good way of increasing brand awareness in a political environment and more likely to get you noticed when lobbying the government for a policy that would benefit your organisation’s service users.
What do campaigners do?
In general, staff in the communications, campaigns, marketing, sales and design teams work closely together to pool ideas and resources.
A typical task may involve working with the events managers to design materials for a forthcoming event. What materials are needed for the event? Does it merit significant advertising? Who are the target audience? Will there be any celebrity patrons present at the event who would attract press coverage?
Phoning press agencies leading up to the event is important if there are news-worthy guests attending and you want photos in relevant publications. Remember, your pressboards and other background branding materials could be especially powerful tools if you get pictures of celebrities standing in front of them published in national publications. Preparing press releases to go out immediately following an event will also increase the chances of newspapers picking up the story.
Being associated with large corporate companies, e.g. Charity of the Year partnerships, may take priority in your workload. Corporate staff tend to organize fundraising activities to raise money for their chosen charity and if these relationships are cultivated successfully, the income possibilities for your cause can be huge (e.g. buy this and £2 goes to the charitable organisation, adding your logo to re-useable carrier bags etc.).
Your role will involve liaising with different departments to achieve brand recognition and achieve the aims and objectives set out by your senior personnel. It’s a big task but most charities wouldn’t get anywhere without dedicated staff working in communications, campaigning and marketing. Click here to check out the role of a Marketing Executive - could this be the one for you?
Written by Lynsey Schonenberger
Major Fundraising Executive @ CLIC Sargent