Who applied to come to Bootcamp?

We’ve just finished a review of all the data we collected about the applicants for Bootcamp 2.

The results are really interesting and we wanted to share them with you.

Overall, we’ve made a good improvement from last year in ensuring that Bootcamp reflects the diversity and fair representation that we’d like to see in the sector (and the wider world).

However, there are lots of areas where we need to improve significantly to ensure that we have a diverse group of talented people attending Campaign Bootcamp. We’re sharing how we have got on this time because we’re keen to get your help in helping us to achieve that and challenging us to do better next time.

1. Geographical location.
The Campaign Bootcamp team is based in London - and most of our organising team’s connections and community is there too.

We tried really hard to make sure we got applicants from outside London by contacting campaign groups all over the country, spreading it far and wide on the internet and making calls to friends who live outside the M25 bubble. We did a lot better than last year, but it was still an uneven representation:


We have a few theories about why more people ended up in the final cohort from London than from other parts of the UK proportionally:

  1. There are a lot of NGOs and campaigning groups based in London (including a number of larger NGOs that are based in London) and unfairly, many of the opportunities to get experience are there too. That meant a lot of people with the right amount of experience probably were based in London.

  2. Many of the Bootcampers from 2013 are based in London. A lot of you who applied heard about it through them.

What we’re going to do: We need to do more to get the word up North. We’re thinking of ways to do that - holding events, visiting university campuses. If you have ideas of how we could reach more people outside London please email us! We’d love to hear from you!

2. The kind of place you applied for.
As you might expect, it was a lot more competitive for people applying for a scholarship place, than for those applying from NGOs.


Campaign Bootcamp is not expensive to run, but it does cost some money. That means that at the moment we are charging people £250 to attend if they are applying as an individual, and more if they are applying from a small NGO or large NGO.

We’re working really hard to get all the funding we can make sure the people who have the talent can attend Bootcamp regardless of what kind of place they apply for, but that means more fundraising to cover the cost of the Scholarship places.

However, our central aim is to build a radically more effective campaign sector. That means that we want to train people from across the sector, including those who work for Large NGOs.

This year we didn’t get many applications from people who work at large NGOs that we hadn’t approached ahead of applications opening. We’re not sure why this is. Perhaps it’s more difficult to persuade your boss to let you take the time off to attend, or because the cost is higher for applicants from large NGOs.

If you work for a large NGO, and you wanted to apply but didn’t - we’d love it if you could drop us an email and let us know why that was so we can make it easier for you to do so next time.

What we’re going to do: We’re going to do everything we can to get lots of funding for our Bootcamps so that there are lots of scholarship places available. We’re also going to do more to engage NGOs from across the country so that we get a larger pool of applicants from across the UK and even out the number of people applying for different places.

3. The diversity of Bootcamp.
We did pretty well at ensuring Bootcamp was diverse, but in some areas we really need to do more. O
ur application process to be as fair as possible, making each application anonymous. Here are the figures.  


Of the applicants who identified as BME there was a large range of different ethnicities. Overall however, we failed to reach the right people from Arab, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Indian background.

If you work for a campaigning group that is specifically aimed at or works with people of Black or minority ethnicity, please get in touch, we would really like to ensure that Bootcamp receives applications from quality candidates from all backgrounds.

We recognise that we need to do more to ensure that we get a higher number of people applying who have a disability.

We’re going to engage disability rights groups and charities that work with disabled people so that we reach more disabled campaigners. If you have ideas of how we could attract more disabled campaigners to apply please get in touch with us!

At the moment Campaign Bootcamp doesn’t have a policy with regards to LGBTQ applicants.

We decided to track it to see if it had any significance - we only looked at it after the application process was finished. We’re going to discuss as a team, and look to you for guidance as to whether we should include LGBTQ applicants as part of our diversity policy. What do you think? 

A huge thank you to all of the individuals, NGOs and campaigning groups that helped us spread the word about Bootcamp! It’s only with your help that we reach the best applicants and make Bootcamp what it is.

If you applied for Campaign Bootcamp and have some feedback about the process, positive or negative, we would really like to hear from you. Send an email to hello@campaignbootcamp.org - it will really help us to make it better next year.