Submitting Field Reports
Why are field reports important?
Thank you for taking time to help us track our activity in CCL. We use this data nationally to demonstrate to members of Congress, the media, foundations, donors and others what we know already: our volunteers are passionately and actively engaged in building political will in tangible ways.
As a member of a CCL group, you can also use this data to encourage and inspire your group and as a way to track your progress on your goals. The information comes back to you immediately in an email confirmation and in a report to every group leader once a month. We also occasionally send collections of published media by State which can be shown (often with some editing) to MOCs and other people.
What type of local events should I field report?
Types of activity to report on this form:
- News articles about CCL volunteers or events
- Radio and TV interviews, news coverage, or public service announcements we instigated
- Letters to the editor, in print and online, written by our volunteers
- Guest columns or op-eds by CCL volunteers or staff
- Editorials by editors that came about because of our contact with them
- Editorial board meetings (including meetings with only one editor)
- Personal letters or postcards to Congress that your group collected and mailed or delivered, and letters sent by webform via your Congressperson's website
- Outreach events such as presentations and tabling
- Phone calls to Congress that were not made with our online calling tool.
- State-level actions related to state-level carbon pricing
Note: These activities, especially the print articles, do not have to explicitly mention the Energy Innovation Act or CCL, though it’s great when they do! To determine whether it should be reported ask yourself "Does this piece build political will for action on climate change?"
Lobby meetings and town hall/listening sessions where we asked a question are reported on a different form: https://community.citizensclimatelobby.org/meeting-minutes.
What not to submit
At this time we are not collecting data on emails or phone calls to congressional staff by Liaisons. If you have questions about what to file, please contact us. We try to collect only the data we think we need. We don’t want to overburden you with reports, and we know that these reports do not capture all you are doing—so please carry on with all your good work!
Submitting Accurate Reports
The integrity of the data matters—we would like it to be inclusive and accurate, and we are grateful for your help with this. Please try to avoid duplicates and be as complete as possible. If an activity involved more than one chapter (such as tabling or a lobby meeting) only one report should be done, so please decide among the groups which one will file the report.
You’ll need a system in your group for reporting. It usually works best for one person to file all the reports, and for group members to be reminded to report their activity to that person. Although this is often the group leader, it does not have to be. Any detail-oriented person can do this job! In a few very active groups they have designated two people to do reports—one to do published media and one to do all the rest. Some people find it easiest to do the reports as they come in. Others prefer to do them all at once at some point in the month. Either way, it is very helpful if you can be up to date on your reporting by the Wednesday before the monthly national conference call since we usually report the numbers then.
Use the correct date
When you file a report, use the date that the activity happened, not the date you are doing the report. Please don’t report things that haven’t happened yet--sometimes things don’t happen as planned.
Since you can't go back and correct a report yourself once you've submitted it, it's helpful to proofread your report before you hit save!
What if I make a mistake I need to correct?
If you discover you overlooked an activity that needed reporting, you can do it at any time. No report is too late to file! If you discover that you accidentally did a report twice or made a mistake on a report, please send an email explaining the error to email@example.com. Include the email confirmation for the report in your email to make it easier to find the right field report to fix.
Final tips and a note of appreciation
- Be clear with your group about who is responsible for filing your chapter's field reports. In smaller groups it probably makes sense for one person to submit all your field reports. In larger groups with teams based on CCL's levers of political will it might make sense to designate someone from each team to file field reports for activity by that team. For example, the media team could have a LTE/op-ed field reporter.
- Each item reported is a separate submission to be filed upon completion of the action. Note: If more than one CCL group was involved in an action, be sure that only one group submits the report.
- Important: To avoid duplicates, keep track of your submissions and try not to submit the same report twice. Each submission generates a response that is emailed to the submitter with a copy for your records. If you have corrections or duplicates send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include the field report number you received on your confirmation email.
Thank you for filing field reports, and especially for your group’s work in the community that leads to field reports! Our teamwork will make the difference.