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Campaigns and campaigning

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In essence, CharityBags is a campaign - attempting to "right wrongs".
Below, we're compiling a list of a few other not-for-profit campaigns which we've come across - and found interesting.

The campaigns cover a wide range of topics.  However, they all have in common the "campaigning" approach - a belief that (in their area of concern) things aren't right - and they could be improved.  So they seek to influence the attitudes (=thoughts) and behaviour (=actions) of the public, media, politicians, government and business.  They :

In the process, usually they give lots of useful information on their subject.

Campaigning organisations are also known as lobby groups, pressure groups, advocacy groups, interest groups or special interest groups.


They're in the business of "selling" ideas.  They tend to borrow techniques from commercial marketing, sales and PR - eg concerning advertising.  Indeed, the website of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has a number of adjudications (=decisions) on ads by not-for-profit campaigning organisations.

Transfer of ideas:  We've found it very useful to look at other campaigns - for example studying their methods of lobbying, types of wording, slogans, style, publications, website design, legal issues.  (See our page on different licensing regimes for an analogous situation.)

Status:  Most of the organisations below are not-for-profit - and some are registered charities.  Most of them have an ".org" or ".org.uk" suffix in their web address.  Some offer membership.

Extracts:  Typically, the quoted extracts are taken from their homepage or a page called "aims", "what we do" or similar.  Our thanks to the organisations concerned.

The main list is in A-Z order.

Campaigns whose subject is relevant to CharityBags are marked thus:    

Below, in one or two cases we don't necessarily agree with some aspects of their agenda (or we haven't had time to check them out) - eg those marked thus: "§§" after the web address.

Who's in the list - and who's not?

The campaigns (A-Z)

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

www.ash.org.uk    charity

"ASH action on smoking and health" - logo (our thanks to the charity)

"Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) was established in 1971 by the Royal College of Physicians.  It is a campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco.  We do not attack smokers or condemn smoking.

Note:  ASH receives funding from Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Department of Health

Apostrophe Protection Society (APS)


"The Apostrophe Protection Society was started in 2001 by John Richards, now its Chairman, with the specific aim of preserving the correct use of this currently much abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language.

See also our page on Plain English.

British Toilet Association (BTA)


British Toilet Association (BTA) logo (our thanks to the BTA)

  • "Britain's public toilets were once the envy of the world
  • In recent years, a significant number of public toilets have been closed down
  • We need more and better toilets
  • Let's stop the rot

Our mission is to represent the interest and aspirations of 'away from home' toilet providers, suppliers and users of all types and to act as the catalyst for change in the pursuit of standards of excellence in all areas of public toilet provision and management.

Campaign for Better Transport

www.bettertransport.org.uk    charity

Campaign for Better Transport - logo (our thanks to the charity)

"We are the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport

We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage.  Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels.

Our approach gets results

With a small staff, we make a big impact.  We recently convinced Government to:

  • Set up a bus passenger watchdog;
  • Scrap plans to build roads through precious countryside;
  • Reject a trial of super-sized lorries on our roads.

Campaign for Dark Skies (CfDS)

www.britastro.org/dark-skies    charity

"The British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies

A campaign to restore our natural, starry skies, by reducing inefficient lighting.

The CfDS aims to preserve and restore the beauty of the night sky by campaigning against excessive, inefficient and irresponsible lighting that shines where it is not wanted nor needed.

Campaign for Drawing (CFD)

www.campaignfordrawing.org    charity    

Campaign for Drawing - logo (our thanks to the charity)


To promote drawing by people of all ages in all sections of society in the United Kingdom and overseas, with the aim of engaging them in creative activities as a medium for learning, to facilitate intellectual and emotional development, to encourage greater cultural appreciation and to heighten awareness, particularly through drawing, in a range of settings such as colleges, schools, museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, community centres and other public buildings, parks, open spaces and the countryside;

Campaign for Freedom of Information (CFOI)


"The Campaign for Freedom of Information campaigns against unnecessary official secrecy and for an effective Freedom of Information Act.

Freedom of information laws give people the right to any official information unless the government or public authority can show that disclosure would cause real harm to essential interests such as defence, security, law enforcement or privacy.

See also our page on freedom of information.

Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE)


"A pressure group aiming to improve the scientific health of the UK.   . . .

CaSE was launched in March 2005, evolving out of its predecessor Save British Science [SBS].   . . .

CaSE is the leading advocate for science and engineering in the UK.  The strength of our policy advocacy is due to our political networks, independent analysis, broad membership, and responsiveness.  We are funded by our individual and organisational members.   . . .

We are accepted by Government as an organisation able to speak for a wide section of the science and engineering community in a constructive but also critical and forceful manner.  We are free to speak without the restraints felt by learned societies and similar bodies, and it is good for Government to know someone is watching closely.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

www.cpag.org.uk    charity

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) charity - logo (our thanks to CPAG)

"Child Poverty Action Group

fighting the injustice of poverty

CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.

Consumer Action Group (CAG)


[Source: Wikipedia]

"The Consumer Action Group (CAG) is a UK organisation that campaigns for customer rights, particularly for the recovery of unfair charges imposed by UK banks on their customers.

It was founded by Dave Smith and Marc Gander and was the first organisation of its kind to campaign for effective regulation of the UK retail banking sector while assisting many thousands of ordinary people to successfully challenge their banks for the return of unlawfully imposed penalty charges.

Equitable [Life] Members Action Group (EMAG)


"The independent action group for current and ex Equitable Life policyholders, funded by contributions.

Friends of the Earth (FoE)

www.foe.co.uk    charity    

"Making life better for people by inspiring solutions to environmental problems

Useful page:
Key resources: "How to..." guides on campaigning tips and tricks
eg guides to lobbying your elected representatives, media interviews, writing press releases

See also our page on re-use and recycling.

"Give with care" campaign

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/.../give with care.pdf       

A joint initiative in late 2009 by the Cabinet Office (OTS), Charity Commission, TSI, ASA, OFT, ACPO, LACORS, ACS and FRSB.  The campaign was focused on a 2-sided leaflet - extract below :

"Give with care

Over 90% of the goods sold in charity shops are donated by people like you, and charities rely on your continuing support and generosity.

Household collections are a popular way for charities to collect donations, but beware - some of these collections are bogus.

Don't stop giving to charities and those in need
Donating your clothing and other goods to genuine charities helps to raise vital funds.  But please make sure that your donation goes to a legitimate charity or organisation collecting on their behalf.  Taking care when making your donation means that you can be sure that your help goes to those who really need it - and that charities don't lose out.

Be aware - treat with caution    [etc]

See also our page on charities.
See also our page on charities and honesty.

HACAN ClearSkies


Note:  HACAN stands for "Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise"

"HACAN ClearSkies is the largest voluntary organisation in Europe dedicated to campaign on behalf of those who suffer because of aircraft flight paths.   . . .

Noise has been the big concern of the residents we represent, but, in recent years as flight numbers have been increased, there have been growing concerns about air pollution, safety and the impact of Heathrow on the surrounding floodplain.


Campaigns for better indexing - especially of books.  Eg see:

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)  

Society of Indexers (SI)  

Keep Britain Tidy

http://keepbritaintidy.org    charity

Keep Britain Tidy - logo (our thanks to the charity)

"We are an environmental charity and the anti-litter campaign for England.

We also run programmes such as Eco-Schools, Blue Flag and Quality Coast Awards for beaches, and the Green Flag for parks to demonstrate practical action.



"Protecting civil liberties.  Promoting human rights."

"Liberty is also known as the National Council for Civil Liberties [NCCL] .  Founded in 1934, we are a cross party, non-party membership organisation at the heart of the movement for fundamental rights and freedoms in the UK.

We promote the values of individual human dignity, equal treatment and fairness as the foundations of a democratic society.

Lighter Later


"Everybody loves the sunshine.  But every year we set our clocks so that we get less of it in our lives, sleeping through the sunlit mornings while we use expensive, polluting electric lights to keep out the dark nights.  Lighter Later is a campaign to brighten all of our days, by changing the clocks so we are awake when the sun is out.

Living Streets

www.livingstreets.org.uk    charity

(Known as the Pedestrians Association until 2001)

"Safe, attractive and enjoyable streets

Living Streets is the national charity that stands up for pedestrians.  With our supporters we work to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, where people want to walk.  We work with professionals and politicians to make sure every community can enjoy vibrant streets and public spaces.   . . .

Today, we have local groups up and down the country, get over 2 million children involved in our Walk to School campaign each year, and we are the voice for pedestrians right up to the highest levels of government.

Noise Abatement Society (NAS)

www.noiseabatementsociety.com    charity

"The objective of the Noise Abatement Society is to raise awareness of, and find solutions to, noise pollution and pollutants related to solving noise issues, for example light disturbance and air pollution.

Our work helps to relieve the physical and mental distress and ill health which noise and related pollutants cause and which profoundly affect public health, productivity, the quality of life and wildlife.

Open access (OA)

Concerning expensive published information - eg journals.



http://thecostofknowledge.com   campaign on scientific journals

www.freethepostcode.org   on Royal Mail's UK postcode data


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8366190.stm - on UK Ordnance Survey map data


http://penaltychargenotice.co.uk    §§

"Fighting for the rights of the motorist  . . .

We have campaigned on behalf of motorists for over 12 years to have the current unfair and, in our opinion revenue orientated enforcement of parking and moving traffic offences by local councils and transport for London changed.

Plain English Campaign (PEC)


"Since 1979, we have been campaigning against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information.  We have helped many government departments and other official organisations with their documents, reports and publications.  We believe that everyone should have access to clear and concise information.

See also our page on plain English.

Safer Giving Campaign - by the Charity Commission

http://charitycommission.custhelp.com/...    government    

"Charity fraud is rare, but sadly there are cheats who prey on the generosity of people, and use this as an opportunity to line their own pockets.  As the charity watchdog we aim to give the public confidence in the integrity of charity and protect the reputation of genuine charities.

The Charity Commission has joined forces with various organisations across the country including local authorities, major supermarkets, shopping centres, Citizens Advice Bureaux and the Advertising Standards Authority to promote its Safer Giving campaign.

The main aim of the campaign is to raise public awareness about safe ways to donate to charity and to stamp out fraudulent collections which have nothing to do with genuine good causes.

So, if you are approached by somebody collecting for charity, and you're not sure whether they are genuine or not, our Safer Giving code provides some tips that may help you feel more comfortable about giving.

See also our page on "charities and honesty".

SAVE Britain's Heritage (SAVE)

www.savebritainsheritage.org    charity

"Welcome to SAVE Britain's Heritage.  SAVE has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975 by a group of architects, journalists and planners.  SAVE is a strong, independent voice in conservation, free to respond rapidly to emergencies and to speak out loud for the historic environment.

"small print BIG PRINT" campaign
- by The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) *


"ICO cracks down on misleading small print

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is calling for an overhaul of privacy and marketing small print as research reveals that half of consumers don't understand what they're signing up to when they fill in online and paper forms.   . . .

As well as demanding that companies get their house in order, the ICO's 'small print BIG PRINT' campaign aims to encourage individuals to empower themselves by ensuring they understand exactly what they're agreeing to when filling in online or paper forms.

Stop Junk Mail


"Stop Junk Mail is a self-funded, not-for-profit junk mail advice service.  This website provides free, independent, and objective information about stopping unsolicited mail.

'No junk mail' letterbox sticker
Letterbox sticker

Tvind Alert


"This web site is an inquiry into a self-styled humanitarian organisation, the Teachers Group, that is also a wealthy, secretive and mysterious international business.  The Teachers Group runs Humana and many other supposed charities.  The Teachers Group was founded in Denmark in 1969-70 and is now active in at least 30 countries, and possibly as many as 50.  According to a recent statement by Danish police, it has estimated worldwide assets of $860 million.

This web site was founded in 1999 as a journalistic endeavour and has expanded since with the support of many informants and 'victims of the Teachers Group'.

Note:  The activities of the Teachers Group include "charitable" clothing collections.
See also our page on Tvind and related organisations.


www.which.co.uk    charity    

Which? logo - our thanks to Which? (www.which.co.uk)

"We focus on consumer issues and ensuring you have the information to make the right choices - whether that's by reviewing products or providing independent advice you can trust. . . .

Today, we are the largest consumer body in the UK, with over 650,000 members.  We are a registered charity and we plough everything back into consumer interests and services for our members.

Campaigns - by the media

Above we've described ongoing campaigns by not-for-profit organisations.  However, in the section below we describe a few notable campaigns run by the media (print and broadcast).

Penman and Sommerlad Investigate (PSI) (Daily Mirror)


Award-winning campaigns by the Daily Mirror newspaper (1997+)

"Andrew Penman and Nick Sommerlad form the Daily Mirror's Investigations team.  They write a weekly column in the Mirror every Thursday and they're here to help uncover the scams, and expose the people behind them.  They won the Cudlipp Award for campaigning popular journalism at the 2010 British Press Awards.

Note:  "Charitable" clothing collection scams have been the subject of many of their investigations.

Parliamentary expenses scandal

Portcullis logo (our thanks to Wikipedia)


Campaign by the Daily Telegraph newspaper (2009+)

See also the Wikipedia page on it.

Radio and TV

Campaigning programmes and exposés (investigative journalism).  These tend to be magazine-style programmes (with several items per episode) or one theme per episode.  Examples :

  • Face the Facts [John Waite] - BBC Radio 4
  • You and Yours - BBC Radio 4
  • File on 4 - BBC Radio 4
  • That's Life!   - BBC TV (1973-94) with Esther Rantzen
  • Watchdog - BBC TV
  • Fake Britain - BBC TV
  • Rogue Traders - BBC TV
  • Panorama - BBC TV
  • Restoration   - BBC TV - campaigns to preserve the UK's architectural heritage
  • The Cook Report   [Roger Cook] - ITV (1985-98)
  • Dispatches   - Channel 4

Miscellaneous campaigns and campaigners

Mike Durham


Award-winning investigative journalist and campaigner - eg Tvind Alert www.tvindalert.com  

Mark Thomas


Political activist and investigative journalist - amongst other activities.

Say No to 0870


"The SAYNOTO0870.COM web site has been featured on BBC's Working Lunch TV programme, Five's The Gadget Show, BBC Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine Show), BBC Radio Norfolk, and also appeared in many newspapers & publications, including The Guardian, Which Magazine, Readers Digest, and many more.

Campaign against expensive, unnecessary telephone tariffs - eg 0870, 0871, 0844, 0845.

See also our page on this: 0870, 0871, 0844 and 0845 non-geographic telephone rates

Let's Fix Britain (LFB)


"Where frustrated citizens, consumers, and electors can join forces to activate People Power.

We stand up to change all that's bad about Britain in the public and private sectors.  We are also an umbrella organisation for other active groups - a place where we can join forces, share information and grow strength.

Our overall goal is to Fix Britain - to make Britain better - by motivating and guiding ordinary people to make a positive contribution.

Solitary Watch

Flag of the USA


A campaign in the US - regarding the welfare of prisoners (especially solitary confinement).

Big Brother Watch


"Defending civil liberties, protecting privacy"

Pipedown - the campaign for freedom from piped music


"Pipedown - campaigning against noise pollution"

The Gurkha Justice Campaign


Including Joanna Lumley.