Campaigns, Policy, campaigns & research

Who'd be a goalkeeper?

Time to put on the campaigning gloves...

You know the score

Campaigners are the goalkeepers of civil society. We get kicked when we’re down and blamed for every defeat; we go from heroes to zeros and back again in the blink of a mud-clogged eye. We’re essential to every team but also stand a little outside of them too.

The qualities I look for in a campaigner are commitment, a sense of the absurd and an ability to win over skeptics from both inside and outside the organisation. A person who’s focused, a tad exhibitionist, a risk taker – ready and willing to be the last person standing when the going gets tough. Someone, in fact, with all the traits of a goalkeeper.

So who would want to be a goalie…

I mean campaigner? Well, thankfully, plenty of you do. Because when the whistle blows for full-time and your goal’s been secured; when you witness the smiling faces of your supporters; when you and your team mates are celebrating and your opponents have scored own goal after own goal. Well, there’s nothing else quite like it. Just ask Manuel Neuer* or Hope Solo.**

*World Cup winning goalkeeper for Germany, 2014; **Women’s World Cup winning goalkeeper for USA, 2015.


Matthew is speaking on 27 November at “Campaigning and lobbying in a changing political landscape”.

The event features a choice of six topical workshops as well as two insightful keynote discussions and a welcome address by Linda Butcher, CEO of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation.

Check out the full workshop and programme information here.