Below are recent campaigns ACO has run on behalf of our members and campaigns ACO has supported.
We regularly keep members informed on how to support upcoming ACO/external campaigns within the charity sector
Support during the Squeeze
In response to rising bills, inflation rates and the cost of living squeeze threatening to push thousands of people and families deeper into financial hardship, ACO will be running the Support During the Squeeze campaign during April and May 2022.
Following on from our work during the Here to Help campaign in 2021, ACO will be contacting advice and referral agencies, and other organisations working closely with people in need, to remind these organisations that benevolent charities can help people struggling with the rising cost of living.
As part of the campaign, we will be letting organisations know about the different services benevolent charities can provide, and where to go to help people find support.
This campaign will culminate in a social media “day of action” / awareness day in late May which we will be using to raise awareness of the different types of support benevolent charities can provide and how these charities can help people during the cost of living squeeze.
Keep the Lifeline
ACO supported the Keep the Lifeline campaign organised by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The campaign urged the Government not to go ahead with the planned £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in October 2021.
ACO was amongst over 100 organisations who signed an open letter delivered to the Prime Minister on 1st September 2021 urging the Government not to go ahead with the planned cut. You can read this letter here.
We also invited staff from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to our Grant Making Forum event in September 2021 to let members know more about the campaign and how they could get involved.
Despite the cut unfortunately going ahead, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and wider charity sector will be monitoring its impact on already struggling individuals and families and campaign for the £20 to be restored.
Here to Help
As ACO’s member charities expressed concern about the potential for large numbers of individuals needing support as industries struggled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with concerns about a rise in job losses and redundancies, ACO launched the Here to Help campaign.
Here to Help ran from September 2020 – March 2021 and sought to raise awareness of the help benevolent and grant-giving charities could provide to those struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
We reached out to and worked with key advice and referral agencies, charities and other organisations that work closely with individuals who may be in need of assistance, along with national and charity press, to raise awareness of the services grant-giving charities can provide to those struggling.
We produced leaflets and posters that could be distributed within organisations likely to be visited/contacted by vulnerable individuals to let people know about benevolent fund support, wrote articles to be featured in newsletters, publications and websites to raise awareness of the support available, and spoke at events about the support these charities had been providing during the pandemic.
Never More Needed / Right Now
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, ACO has been an active participant of the Wider Infrastructure Group (now the Civil Society Group), an informal collaboration of charity membership and infrastructure bodies to discuss issues impacting the charity sector during the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, ACO has supported this group’s campaigns for more financial support for the charity sector, including the Never More Needed and Right Now campaigns showing the vital work charities were doing to support individuals through the pandemic and why funding was vital to help them continue their good work.
The work of this Infrastructure Bodies group in campaigning for financial support helped lead to a £750 million package of support becoming available to our sector in 2020.
One Day Changes Lives
In January 2020 ACO ran a campaign called One Day Changes Lives to raise awareness of the financial and wellbeing support benevolent charities can provide to members of the public during challenging times.
ACO enlisted the work of an external PR agency to focus on getting coverage in the national and charity sector press about the work being done by benevolent funds. ACO also conducted research amongst its membership base to find out the impact benevolent charities have when it comes to supporting individuals in financial need.
The campaign concluded with a social media “day of action” on 22nd January 2020 where we brought together our charity members and supporters to share case studies and messages showing the vital role benevolent charities play in supporting individuals.