CAFOD 2016 research update

Thank you so much for taking part in CAFOD’s supporter research last autumn about the next steps for our ‘One Climate, One World’ campaign. We really appreciated you giving up your time to talk to us on the phone, and for sharing so many insights about how we can develop our campaigns in future. Of course, not everyone had the same opinions, but there were many areas of consensus which gave us a clear steer about where to focus going forward.

Here are some of the ways in which we have used the research so far:

  • The message which focused on Pope Francis and the inspiration to care for our common home was the most popular. We are using this language and content to inform our campaign communications for the year ahead, making sure that we root everything we say in this positive vision. We are also drawing the most popular ideas and phrases from the social justice messaging to reinforce this call.
  • We have noted your concern that ‘lifestyle’ actions should not replace political actions, and that actions should always include a political dimension. This means that we are now exploring how campaigners can influence UK government or business investments in fossil fuels, instead of how they can change their own pensions or investments. We are aiming to develop this as a campaign focus in 2017. We have also trying to build in a ‘political’ dimension into our lifestyle actions (for example, encouraging livesimply award parishes to invite their MPs when they receive their awards, or people who switch to renewable energy to use this an example to call on the UK government for support for renewables).
  • We have noted the actions which achieved widespread support were: walk to church Sunday, eating less meat/local food, and switching to renewable energy at home. As a result, we are launching a renewable energy switch promotion next month, and we are exploring how we develop the other two ideas next year.
  • We have noted the enthusiasm for a parish energy switch, but also your concerns that this is impractical, would meet resistance or hard to understand how to make it happen. As a result, we have started conversations directly with the Dioceses about a structural approach to overcoming these barriers, rather than asking each parish to try and switch to renewable energy by itself. There will be more information available about this later in the Spring.
  • We have ruled out taking forward some of the more unpopular actions, which the research showed you saw as unrealistic or impractical, such as asking people not to take flights.
  • We have noted the desire to integrate our fundraising and campaigning and lifestyle actions at Lent, and are looking for ways to improve.
  • We have noted your concern that ‘lifestyle’ actions should not replace political actions, and that actions should always include a political dimension. This means that we are now exploring how campaigners can influence UK government or business investments in fossil fuels, instead of how they can change their own pensions or investments. We are aiming to develop this as a campaign focus in 2017. We have also trying to build in a ‘political’ dimension into our lifestyle actions (for example, encouraging livesimply award parishes to invite their MPs when they receive their awards, or people who switch to renewable energy to use this an example to call on the UK government for support for renewables).
  • We have noted the actions which achieved widespread support were: walk to church Sunday, eating less meat/local food, and switching to renewable energy at home. As a result, we are launching a renewable energy switch promotion next month, and we are exploring how we develop the other two ideas next year.
  • We have noted the enthusiasm for a parish energy switch, but also your concerns that this is impractical, would meet resistance or hard to understand how to make it happen. As a result, we have started conversations directly with the Dioceses about a structural approach to overcoming these barriers, rather than asking each parish to try and switch to renewable energy by itself. There will be more information available about this later in the Spring.
  • We have ruled out taking forward some of the more unpopular actions, which the research showed you saw as unrealistic or impractical, such as asking people not to take flights.
  • We have noted the desire to integrate our fundraising and campaigning and lifestyle actions at Lent, and are looking for ways to improve.

Susie Mullen and Sarah Hagger-Holt