Together we've proven that #StopFundingHate works. A string of advertisers have pulled out of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express - and there's been a significant drop in hateful newspaper coverage in the UK press.
But there’s still a way to go before our media is free from hate and discrimination.
Britain remains deeply polarised - and there are challenging times ahead.
Hate is surging on social media - and throughout our society.
History shows us that scapegoating and demonisation can intensify during times of crisis.
So we need to “tool up” more people across Britain with the campaigning tactics that the Stop Funding Hate community has developed, to enable them to push back at media hate and discrimination wherever they find it.
Imagine if every charity and community group in Britain had the tools to push back hate?
Whether it’s tackling anti-Traveller coverage in local papers, misogyny and racism on social media, or ongoing anti-LGBT narratives in the national press, there's a huge amount to do to turn the tide.
To get there we'll need to build a broad movement of people and organisations working to push back.
A key part of this will be to share our knowledge. We want to set up a training programme to empower community organisations across the UK to use “stop funding hate” tactics within their own campaigns.
We want to share the lessons of the campaign so that other groups can build on - and improve on - the methods that we've been using.
Over the past year we’ve heard from many organisations - both in the UK and internationally - who are interested in the “stop funding hate” campaigning model and want to emulate what we’ve done.
We’ve already begun speaking to a number of organisations about ways that these campaigning tactics could be scaled up and used more widely.
If this Crowdfunder is successful, this will enable us to massively increase our impact by enabling thousands more people to use these campaigning tactics.
Stop Funding Hate is a movement of people who refuse to be demonised or divided against each other. Our core team includes volunteers from a range of backgrounds - media, advertising, human rights and campaigning - who have come together because we believe something has gone wrong with the way the press portrays some of the most vulnerable in society.
Our campaign was launched in 2016, amid a surge in anti-migrant and anti-Muslim media coverage - and a spike in hate crime.
Since then over 230,000 people have joined us on social media, and taken action to encourage brands to pull their advertising from newspapers that fuel hatred.
After a string of successes, the past year has seen some big changes in the UK press.
- The Daily Mail has changed its editor and said that it's "detoxifying".
- The Daily Express also has a new editor, who has committed to ending anti-migrant stories and talked publicly about the impact of Stop Funding Hate.
- The Sun has publicly apologised for aspects of its past coverage and committed to engaging with groups representing affected communities.
- Internationally, Stop Funding Hate has been working with the United Nations to establish advertising as a mainstream business ethics issue. Last year, the UN General Assembly finalised a new international agreement which endorses defunding media outlets that fuel racism and xenophobia.
- In the UK, more and more brands are now recognising that they have to take a more ethical approach to their advertising. Stop Funding Hate has been a founding supporter of a new industry-run initiative which encourages brands to proactively avoid funding hate speech.
These changes have been won by every person who has shared our videos, contacted an advertiser and spoken out against the normalisation of hatred and racism.
But every day brings more evidence of the urgent need to share our tactics more widely, and build a broad, mass-movement to push back against hate.
Social media has massively increased the power of consumer-driven campaigning. It’s now far easier for consumers to organise together quickly and make their voices heard.
The companies that we shop with fund the media - and the internet. In the UK alone, over £22 billion is spent on advertising every year. Every brand that commits to #StopFundingHate takes us another step closer to making hate unprofitable for good.
The key to making this happen is to use our power as consumers.
Brands know that they need to have clear values and a strong purpose to appeal to mainstream consumers - and they also know that a sceptical public will lose faith if they don’t live up to their values.
So we as consumers have more power than ever. When enough of us speak out, the companies we shop with will respond.
Our success in the UK has been mirrored around the world - in the US and Australia and across Europe.
And even a small number of messages to a brand can make a huge difference.
The nature of online advertising means that a company will sometimes be completely unaware that their ad is appearing alongside hateful or extremist content - and will take action quickly once this is brought to their attention.
As more and more advertising moves online, it's often very straightforward for a company to remove their ads from a toxic media outlet and redirect their expenditure elsewhere.
So it's now easier than ever for consumers to take action and make their voices heard.
Around the country there are community groups, youth organisations and charities of all sizes doing brilliant work to tackle discrimination.
But the task of tackling hate across both mainstream and social media is a huge one.
To build on the change we've made so far - and take things to the next level - we have to share our tactics and scale up our approach.
Your support will help us to train dozens of community activists to use "stop funding hate" tactics, build our movement and begin developing a longer term training programme.
£5,000 will fund:
*Six pilot training sessions - facilitation, venue and resources - £2,500
*Training materials development - £1,500
*Online resources for ongoing support - £1,000
Every pledge will help to empower more community activists to tackle hate. We've already started talking to a number of groups about this training. If your organisation might be interested in being involved please do contact us via [email protected]. You can also help by spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter.
So please help make this happen by donating what you can to this project. The more we raise, the stronger our movement will become in pushing back against hate.