Public support

NGOs have long recognised the importance of building wider public support for international development, but continue to face the challenge of low public trust of, and engagement in, their causes. Public support is vital for increasing pressure on governments and the private sector to enact change, to create stronger civil society organisations, and to sustain lifestyle changes that halt excessive consumption.

There is a wealth of insight on public attitudes and effective messaging available to the sector, but this is often difficult to distil and apply to a specific cause or campaign. Bond’s Public Support project aims to support NGOs to access the key takeaways from this insight and embed best-practice approaches across all areas of public engagement.

Public support essentials

  • Public Attitudes towards development: this guide draws learning from the Aid Attitude Tracker to support NGOs to be more effective in making the case for aid and development
     
  • The Narrative Project: this piece of research highlights how our narrative approach to international development can change public attitudes
     
  • DevCommsLab: this website can help you find insights to help you understand audiences, motivate public action and influence attitudes
     

Listen to our podcast episode where we discuss media attitudes and the erosion of public trust in NGOs.

Public support news and views

Youth activist dressed as a superhero in Berne, Switzerland
16 April 2019
Focusing more on hope and values in our communications could help us to shift public opinion about our work.
Women marching in Sao Paulo, Brazil
9 April 2019
Civil society advocacy has had lots of successes but our current strategies are not winning over enough to people to achieve structural change.
Indian trans activist Abheena Aher on stage at Bond Conference
21 March 2019
Key takeaways from Europe’s biggest international development event.

Latest public support resources

Donation jars
A new study suggests that a person’s political views and attitudes towards their own country – and whether they voted for or against Brexit – can explain which causes they support.
4 August 2017
ThankUK image - for water
A collection of images to be shared on social media in support of UK aid.
5 April 2017
How charities work
A resource explaining how charities are run and how the public can help them to make a difference
16 December 2016

Share your learning

Explore ways of building long-term public support for development with others in the sector in our working group. Bond members can join working groups for free.

Join the group 

Get in touch to share your public support success stories: perhaps you have come across some helpful new insight, or your organisation has tested a messaging approach that works well with your audience. We’d love to hear about this and share what you’ve learned.

Email us