I spent Wednesday evening with a group of 25 from all sorts of community and NGO initiatives in Bristol to share some of the case studies we've been collecting, and the themes that we're noticing within them.

The room was filled with an intergenerational group - and after finishing exactly on time, I was one of the first to leave as nearly everyone stayed behind to keep talking: a sure sign of success!

We spent most of the evening reflecting on what campaigning looks like with a Common Cause approach, using the following themes as guides for our conversation.

  • Relationships
  • Experiences
  • Stories
  • Better measurement
  • Internal and external change
  • Movement, as well as organisational, strategy

Some of the learnings that emerged included;

  • The need to build friendships between organisations in order for us to collaborate. Trust is fundamental to successful coalition work.
  • As campaigners we often move from one campaign to the next without taking time to do evaluation, meaning we make the same mistakes in the next campaign.
  • The need to create community at an organisation scale - how do we create a common culture that guides our work?
  • The biggest campaign successes are often not brand-based, but movement-led. There's a conflict here with funding and membership recruitment.

Thanks to Justin for organising, and to Ulrik for taking the Bristol gathering forward!