Some big news – a new grant to help us grow our work

Today I'm excited to share some big news - The Omidyar Network help announced an exciting new grant to help us deepen and expand our work. 

Here’s an extract from their announcement:

Democratic participation in the UK is dominated by privileged communities, which matters because the majority of injustices and inequalities occur against those who are already marginalized. If the diversity of society is not reflected among the people who have the opportunity and skills to engage with campaigns and decision making, then you can draw a fairly plausible conclusion that policies and decisions are the weaker for it.

Campaign Bootcamp is an initiative to empower early-stage campaigners by supporting them to develop the skills, confidence, and resilience to run effective campaigns that challenge injustice. The organization believes that campaigning is something everyone can do, and by effectively training more people, they can address the existing “democracy gap” where people of privilege have ways to have their voices heard over everyone else. Omidyar Network is pleased to announce a two-year grant to support Campaign Bootcamp as we seek to enhance community and democratic participation in the UK.

If you’re reading this blog you probably already know the work we do — we’re dedicated to training the people who have been systematically shut out of politics. Our mission is simple — to support people to run effective campaigns that challenge injustice.

Over the last few years it’s been so exciting to see our graduates go on to run powerful, successful campaigns. But at the same time it’s been heartbreaking to have to turn away hundreds of people who apply to our programmes but can’t get on — because we just have not had the funding to train them.

On some of our camps we now get seven applicants for every successful candidate. That level of demand is at first glance exciting, but I find it heartbreaking. It shows how many people across the country want to challenge the powerful, and how hard it is for them to get the training they want.

The funding we’re announcing today should help us change that. We’re so grateful to The Omidyar Network for enabling us to:
– grow our scholarship programme so that we provide scholarships to everyone who needs them – focusing first on people who don’t usually get access to campaign training
. (you can find out more and apply to our next two camps here)
– expand our alumni network to support Bootcampers to launch their campaigns, partner on each other’s campaigns and mentor new graduates;
– continue our new local training programme, Everyday Activism. We launched a pilot of this last year in Yorkshire and this funding means it can we can keep on figuring out how to train hundreds of first-time campaigners.
– invest in our fundraising work, so that we can continue figuring out ways to training people to challenge the injustice they’ve witnessed.

That is all super exciting, but before we dive into all that work I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped make this possible. We would not exist without the skills of our amazing graduates, the expertise of our volunteers, the dedication of our colleagues (past and present), the ongoing support of our board, the vision of our co-founders and the dedication of our funders and donors. Your generosity, encouragement and feedback power this charity day after day.

You can read lots more about why The Omidyar Network has decided to support our work here, and find out more about their work in the UK here.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing much more news on how we’ll grow and deepen our programmes. For now, please encourage anyone you know who wants to run more powerful campaigns to check out & apply for our Campaign Bootcamp residential. Applications are open now for our spring & summer camps, and there are more scholarships than ever before.

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