Choosing a goal is often the first step to creating a campaign plan. But we shouldn’t just choose a goal out of thin air. It’s often wise to develop a set of criteria that you can use to evaluate a list of possible campaign goals. Ideally, everyone in your group understands and helped influence the process of selecting these criteria. I have uploaded a useful handout that outlines some criteria groups can use to assess and choose their campaign goal.

Here’s some criteria that we developed at the California Food & Justice Coalition when we were identifying our campaign priorities.  These criteria were developed by our steering committee. CFJC’s 300 members were spread out over California, so our goal setting process involved eight meetings spread out over two months.  We posted our criteria on every meeting wall, and explained them carefully at every meeting.  Here was our criteria.

1. Is the campaign winnable, meaning we meet the goals we define for ourselves?

2. Is the campaign in line with CFJC’s mission?

3. Is the campaign innovative and replicable? Could it serve as a model for other groups in other regions?

4. Will the campaign be easily understood, in terms of messaging, goals and target?

5. Will the campaign tangibly improve the lives of our members, especially poor people and people of color?

6. Will the campaign build our power, meaning we have more members, we have more politically engaged members, and we have more members that have improved their abilities to bring about social change?

7. Is this an issue that a sizeable percentage of our members want to advocate for?

8. Does the campaign suit CFJC’s organizational structure and power, meaning is it an appropriate thing for a state-based coalition with two part time staff to work on?

If I did this planning process again, then I would add this criteria.

9. Does the campaign provide opportunities for local groups and statewide groups to meaningfully participate? 

Sometimes groups have sub-goals that they strive to achieve along the journey towards their big mega goal.    The Change Agency (who are BRILLIANT and deserve your financial support) developed this workshop called “Critical Path Analysis” that helps groups flesh out their sub-goals.


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