Common Cause Foundation: A Toolkit for Charities

January 2015
Common Cause Foundation Report

This toolkit introduces the Common Cause Communication matrix – a set of practical principles for crafting Common Cause communications, each built on a solid research foundation. The toolkit is accompanied by a series of downloadable resources for use in group discussions and workshops, including exercise sheets and notes for facilitators.

this if...

  • You’re a campaigner or communicator working for an NGO or charity and want to consider how an understanding of values could make your work more effective
  • You’d like to see what common cause communication looks like in practice

Key Takeaways

  1. Charities and NGOs agonise about the best ways to communicate ‘their’ causes. However, they might be better off thinking about how best to communicate on intrinsic values: the issues themselves are perhaps less important than the values that are invoked in the course of communicating about them.
  2. ‘Getting the values right’ is not some kind of magic bullet to solve all charity communication challenges. An understanding of values provides another set of tools.
  3. More intrinsic messages lead people to experience more sustained motivation to donate or support a charity.

Toolkit resources

Why fundraise?

Is there a way to fundraise without being in direct competition with other charities?

Do you feel like a fraud?

Are your communications engaging people as citizens or consumers?

Free gifts and supporter journeys

Exploring some of the challenges posed by the pressures of short-term fundraising

Reasons to volunteer

Reflecting on intrinsic motivations to volunteer

Value surveys and maps

More information on the two values surveys that Common Cause draws on in its work

Material tested in our experiments

Further information on the texts used in the study with WWF and Scope

Summary of published research

A summary of results from research into priming values

Other resources
you might like

The Common Cause Handbook

Communicating bigger-than-self problems to extrinsically-orientated audiences

Simple and Painless: the limitations of spillover in environmental campaigning

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