If you want to change the world, where should you start?

Occupy Wall Street, Occupy London and the 99% campaign follow popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. They’ve attracted world-wide attention, swaying public opinion and prompting response from senior politicians and pubic leaders.

What happens next is crucial. Occupy London have now put a set of “demands” to the Lord Mayor’s office – is this a move beyond just a demonstration of concern? A campaign with clear goals and strategy for achieving it?

We’re committed to the sector’s independence, defending the right to campaign and continuing to support the sector in changing the world – for me, NCVO’s decision to refresh and re-launch the Certificate in Campaigning is testament to this. It is designed specifically to help build winning campaigns in today’s challenging campaigning environment.

One student commented that “if you intend to change the world, this course is for you.” Having been involved with Campaigning Effectiveness from the start, and with setting up the Certificate in Campaigning, I am delighted that it has been making such a significant contribution to the sector.

I took a look back over the past 5 years of the course to see how and why people have benefited from this course…

Not just for campaigners – “The Campaigning Effectiveness Certificate should be essential training for all voluntary and community sector organisations – regardless of whether they currently undertake campaigning or advocacy or not. Mark Reedman, Chief Executive, Consortium of LGBT Voluntary and Community Organisations

Better achieve your mission – This course is valuable to anyone who wants to learn about strategic planning and different routes to influencing matters. “The techniques I’ve acquired through the course mean we have a much greater chance of success.” Katy McGrory, former Communications Manager, Brighton CVSF

Save time and money – Learning from the course “saves time and other resources…it helps to identify the quickest route to achieving change.” Andrew Campbell, Development Manager, Voluntary Norfolk CVS

Increase your own influence and profile internally – “…now he is able to communicate ideas not just to me but to our management team in a way that makes them listen. He is now really admired and respected.” Participant’s line manager

Boost your CV – Many past students have gone on to more senior roles within or outside their organisation. “NCVO’s ground-breaking Certificate in Campaigning will be producing many, if not all, of the coming generation of top-flight campaign managers.” Simon Burton, Life Changes Counselling

Get well connected – “The Certificate has introduced me to a community of friendly, supportive and encouraging peers and trainers. For a campaigner in a small organisation, this really matters. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” Education and Campaigns Officer

Improve your team’s wider skills – “The Certificate took his passion, enthusiasm and imagination and gave him the framework, structure and tools to turn good ideas into really great practical ideas.” Course participant’s line manager

Learn from insiders – “The range of speakers, coupled with the ‘Chatham house rules’ approach has meant that we have been privy to some invaluable insights into Westminster; the formal and more importantly informal networks and sources of influence.” Julie Bently, former Chief Executive Suzie Lamplugh Trust

Benefit from what worked and what didn’t in other campaigns – “What I really valued about the Certificate was learning from other organisations and not just regarding them as competitors.” Course participant

Teaching for all learning styles –  “[This course] takes complex topics and breaks them down into accessible chunks and is packed full of excellent practical tips and tricks.” Course participant

Independence and the sector’s right to campaign are core beliefs which we whole heartedly support and promote. For me, NCVO’s decision to continue the Certificate in Campaigning is testament to this and the legacy of the Campaigning Effectiveness grant.

“If you intend to change the world, this course is for you.” Simon Burton, Life Changes Counselling.

Certificate in Campaigning – applications now open!

  • 7 modules over 7 months
  • Expert tutors and guest speakers
  • Content tailored to today’s campaigning environment
  • Learning from what worked in other campaigns
  • Join a community of campaigners – in person and online
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Sarah Gilbert is an experienced campaigner. She is an independent consultant and runs projects for NCVO on campaigning and influencing, including the Certificate in Campaigning and Leadership in Campaigns. She also coaches campaigners, has guest lectured for Roehampton University, and is a member of the advisory board for the University of Westminster's MA in Campaigning, Communications and Media. Sarah sits on the Campaigning Effectiveness Advisory Board and writes blogs, articles and tweets about how to influence people and the sector’s role in campaigning.

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