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Charities campaigning….are they having a laugh?

Over the last five to ten years, charities have moved into campaigning and started getting political. They have entered territory where previously only more politcal campaigning organisations would venture. Organisations such as Amnesty, Greenpeace etc. set up purely to campaign have been joined by their charity counterparts in the arena of campaigning.

Or are they really campaigning? Has it been a genuine strategic move by charities to affect long term change in society? Or has there been other motives at work…money, or fundraising to be fairer.

I’m talking in general terms of course, I truly believe that some charities have started campaigning and done so for the best reasons. They are employing some of the top campaigners in the not-for-profit sector and are making real political change.

However, as a recruitment consultant some campaigners have told me that they’re leaving their roles because they don’t believe the charity’s heart is really in long term change. That when the charity use the term “campaigning” that they really mean “brand positioning” or “brand awareness” in order to support their fundraising from their individual supporters. And that charities set unachievable campaign targets with no real hope of achieving them but just to be out there, somewhere in the campaigning arena.

Is this true what people are saying? And is it just charities? Or are campaigning organisations themselves guilty of this? Is there anything wrong with the tactic of using campaigning to strengthen the brand?