A greater understanding of why people join lobbying groups, and how they operate has been gained from an online survey of AIR members. Thanks to everyone who made time to contribute.

When asked about the organisations that they felt represented them, the ninety-five artists responding listed involvement with 125 different types of campaigning groups. Human rights and environmental agencies figured most highly, with 17% of respondents belonging to Amnesty International.

For 76%, the motivation for joining groups was that they “wanted to be part of a network of like minded individuals”, with one respondent stating “a collective voice is the loudest”. 64% of members see consultation through regional meetings as an important element, with 53% using on-line forums to debate key issues.

The survey’s key findings went to the second meeting of the AIR Representation Working Group (ARWG) held in Birmingham on 14 December. The group comprises Katriona Beales (Liverpool), Jack Hutchinson (London), Sally Lemsford (Nottingham), Claudia Pilsl (Bristol), Paul Scott (Cumbria) and Caroline Wright (Suffolk). ARWG researcher Abigail Branagan has also looked at fifteen campaigning organisations to gain a greater understanding of kinds of structures they use to consult with and represent their members. Results from her research, combined with survey findings, are informing a draft structure that will be designed to enable AIR to represent its members and their views and concerns to others.

Further consultation with AIR members on the proposed structure will take place in February. Watch for news and consultation calls through the AIR e-bulletin.

a-n.co.uk December 2009