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Apply now for the 2021 Campaign Innovation Fund

February 2, 2021 6:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

May 2021 will see the largest round of elections for nearly 50 years. Pretty much everywhere in Great Britain will have at least one election, and many places will have several overlapping elections.

Whilst it's vital that we focus our efforts on winning as many Liberal Democrat votes across the country, elections also offer the opportunity to test innovative campaign methods and techniques - helping campaigners win more elections in the future.

I've been an active campaigner in the Party for nearly 40 years. I was first elected to Kirklees Council in 1987 winning a "black hole" ward from Labour. I became the first Lib Dem council leader in 2000 for 6 years.

I have been actively involved in ALDC both as its Chair and then President. In 2014 I was given the opportunity of being in the House of Lords where I continue to campaign. I am fighting for re-election in May so am looking forward to seeing great innovative campaigning ideas that I can use!

This party has a proud history of grassroots campaigners coming up with new and innovative campaigning methods. By our nature, Liberal Democrats like to look forward, come up with new ideas, test them against evidence and then share them with others. We were the first party to have a computer system for voters, Connect is the most advanced elections software in the world - but we can and should always do better.

What is the Campaign Innovation Fund?

I am was thrilled to have been asked to Chair 2021 Campaign Innovation Fund, alongside colleagues from the voluntary party, the Campaign and Elections Department and the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners.

Please only apply by following the link at the end of this article only after you have read the information below.

Along with myself, the panel includes:

  • Cllr Lisa Smart, Chair of the Federal Elections and Communications Committee
  • Dr Chris Butler, former London Campaigns Officer and now an political academic at the University of Manchester
  • Steve Jolly, former Head of National Campaigns Henry McMorrow, Interim Head of National Campaigns
  • James Baker, ALDC Development Officer

We have a fund of £4,000 available to fund local campaigns in the run up to the May 2021 elections - where you can show that you're going to test new innovative methods of campaigning.

Up to £500 will be awarded to winning pitches to part-fund campaigning initiatives. The panel will be looking for evidence of buy-in from the relevant election agent and candidate and will be particularly keen to match fund campaigns.

What does a successful bid need to consider?

Successful bids will need to show how the proposed project will provide the party with new information that can help to win elections. Make sure you address the following questions in your application.

  • What is the purpose of the research project? How will the knowledge gained help Lib Dems to win in the future? Is it something that the party does not already know?
  • Is the technique of sufficient magnitude to affect the outcome of elections? For example, if you want to look at the impact of a postal vote recruitment campaign, are you looking at more than just a single direct mail letter to individuals?
  • Is the proposed project feasible? Show that your team has the capacity to deliver it without diverting effort away from your local campaign objectives

The judging panel will assess the applications, offer guidance on both the campaigns and the robustness of the intended measurement.

What's the timeline?

The timetable is as follows:

  • 12th February - Deadline for submission of applications
  • 26th February - Announcing and contacting the successful bids
  • From 26th February - teams put their plans into place
  • From Polling Day - two months to gather results and produce report for the party

If you want to contact someone about your proposal, then please email campaigners@libdems.org.uk

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