How can a small team create a big impact? In three years Hubbub has been exploring different approaches to achieve this. We want to share what we have discovered and get thoughts on how we can improve.

1) Information alone is not enough

Local authorities are natural partners to run campaigns we have created. We listened to their needs and discovered that alongside ideas and materials, they need a hook upon which they can run campaigns, and they require new skills to deliver them.

We have embarked upon a series of regional skill sharing events offering free training, guidance and advice to local authorities. The first two have been oversubscribed and positively received. These workshops are building a network of local authorities who are receptive to our campaigns.

The first campaign involving this network has been #TravellersCheck encouraging people to reduce food waste before the go on holiday. The involvement of local authorities has enabled this campaign to reach a new audience at limited cost to local authorities and Hubbub.

2) Community groups are powerful advocates

One of Hubbub’s principles is that the issue is more important than the organisation. We want to see our ideas spread and are not concerned if people don’t know we are behind them. This approach has meant that community groups can take our ideas and use them to deliver their objectives.

To highlight food waste at Halloween we devised the #PumkinRescue campaign. We created a guide enabling community groups to deliver this campaign in their locality. Last year over 40 groups took on the campaign and we expect the number to grow this year.

3) Authentic partnerships with businesses are hugely powerful

Environmental NGOs have traditionally been wary of getting too close to large companies but our experience is that they can have a huge impact.

Our relationship with IKEA and the University of Surrey is helping households to live more sustainably and even spawned the new Scandi sustainability trend of Lagom. Similarly, our partnership with Mothercare helped redistribute high quality, out-grown baby clothing to 2,000 families that benefitted from the extra support.

There is no way that a small charity could have had the impact we have delivered without working collaboratively with business.

4) Press and social media take great ideas to scale cost-effectively

Content is king. Press and social media are hungry for things to talk about and share. We have discovered that doing one thing incredibly well in a locality can have a huge impact if you capture that moment effectively for press and social media. We always try to create a news story and ‘talkability’ around our campaigns using public polling, infographics and seasonal hooks.

This approach has enabled us to create a social enterprise selling the #BallotBin we created globally and has led to the rapid growth of the #CommunityFridge Network.

5) Collaborate

It is very easy to get precious about the ideas you have developed or the organisation that you have created. This can lead to a desire to try to keep control. This restricts the growth of ideas and impact. Being open to collaboration and new conversations have been one of the biggest drivers behind our activities. It is a culture we are seeking to embed at Hubbub as we believe it is crucial to our continued success.