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Shelter Research into movement building

Researching how campaigning organisations are building their supporter bases.

Working with more onion was a real pleasure. Their professionalism, focus and commitment to getting us the best output was faultless. The final report they delivered was excellent – full of insight and value. It also drew on their extensive experience and connections in the field, framing some important and sometimes challenging questions to help us really think through our goals and approach going forward, plus some great ideas and suggestions for what doing that might mean in reality as well.

quote.portrait_alt Jonathan Smith
Head of Campaigns


As part of its current organisational strategy, Shelter wants to build a movement for change to defend the right to a safe home and has set a target of recruiting 500,000 supporters by 2022 through campaigning.

In response to this ambitious target, Shelter commissioned more onion to research how campaigning organisations in the sector are building and developing their movements.

What we did

We worked with six UK organisations - including Age UK, Friends of the Earth, Mind, Stonewall, and TUC - to find out how they are building their supporter bases. We then drew on this research, as well as our extensive experience working with many organisations across the sector, to deliver a detailed, insight-driven 70-page report.

As well as exploring the successes and challenges organisations are experiencing, the report identified and analysed trends, and unearthed insights into best practice - from strategy development through to implementation and evaluation.

How we did it

We began this six month project by first working with Shelter to design a research brief and approach, and from there shortlisted and approached organisations to interview.

We conducted structured, face-to-face 90 minute interviews with six organisations, plus Shelter. Each interview was formally written up, with additional narrative information, documents and data not available on the day gathered and analysed as part of a follow-up process to ensure responses were as complete, informative and comparable as possible.

The data from these interviews was then analysed by our experienced strategists and synthesised into a comprehensive report where each organisation’s approach to movement building was assessed and compared, with themes, trends and insights drawn out.

In addition to the report, the key findings were also shared with a group of key stakeholders at Shelter in an extended interactive workshop.


Some of our clients

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