Meeting Plan Template and Outline

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A printable template to help lobby teams design a meeting plan. Includes roles, preparation checklist, meeting outline and key elements.
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Usage Instructions

Before heading to DC: How to Use the Meeting Plan

Time is tight when you're in DC so use this Meeting Plan Template as a guide to summarize the status of the MOC relationship and solicit, discuss and prioritize everyone’s ideas for the lobby meeting before you go to DC.  Key items include:

  • the appreciation 
  • primary goal for the meeting
  • primary and secondary asks
  • open-ended questions for discussion

You can find planning guidance on the Planning Your Lobby Meeting training page.


Do we need to submit the meeting plan in advance of the Summer Lobby Day?

If you will be part of the lobby team in DC: You do not need to submit your meeting plan in advance, but you may wish to use it as a guide to gather input from your chapter members or other CCL volunteers in your district who will not be going to DC. 

If you are a liaison and you will not be attending the conference and will not be available to assist the lobby team with their planning: We suggest you submit a lobby meeting plan online by Monday, June 3rd and it will be passed on to the lobby team.  You don’t need to complete everything in the plan to submit it - just include what you think will be useful to the team that you know about you MoC or their positions on topics we’ve discussed with them.  

The meeting plan template is advisory only.  Please use your own judgment in planning and carrying out the meeting and be flexible and responsive to the ideas of the member of Congress and their staff.

To view this resource via GoogleDocs, click here. To download the generic version of this resource, click on the "Download" button below. 

Meeting Plan Template and OutlineMeeting Plan Template and Outline (.docx) (updated 6/3/24) 573 KB
Meeting Plan Template and Outline Meeting Plan Template and Outline (.pdf) (updated 6/3/24) 83 KB


CCL Lobby Meeting Plan & Outline

Meeting Plan

This section helps you prepare for the meeting. 


Member of Congress Name (MOC):                                                                         State/District:                                    

Is the meeting with the MOC or staff?

Staffer name and title (even if meeting with the MOC, a staffer will be present):

Liaison (or appointment setter) name, email and cell number:


What is your appreciation(s) of the MOC or staffer? It could be for a position they’ve taken recently, an accomplishment, bipartisan work, etc. Don’t feel limited to climate/energy issues.

What is the goal of this meeting?  Things to consider:  

1) What is our relationship like with this office

2) What was discussed in previous meetings? 

(The meeting lead will have minutes from previous meetings. It is essential we treat them with confidentiality in order to maintain a trusted relationship with the MOC.)


What aspects of this bill do you think will resonate most with your MOC?  

As you consider the following in regard to the primary (and secondary) ask, integrate these Motivational Interviewing principles: 

●           Ask open-ended questions, aiming to elicit your MOC’s support for any area of climate policy. 

●           Reflect back what you hear the MOC/staffer say, using your own words, emphasizing common ground. Offer at least as many reflections as questions. 

●           Ask permission to share information, then share concisely before asking what they think about what you have shared.

What are some open-ended questions that could elicit discussion about the ask and help find common ground? For example, “what do you like about this bill?”  Anticipate what you think your member’s responses to your open-ended questions  and the bill might be. Make some notes about statements and values you can anticipate, and prepare reflections, additional open-ended questions, and acknowledgements of common ground.


What is the secondary ask prepared by CCL's Government Affairs team? (If more than one option, which do you think will most appeal to your MOC?) If there’s time for further discussion, what open-ended questions could you ask to encourage discussion about the ask? What do you anticipate your MOC might say? What are some reflections–emphasizing solutions–that you can prepare ahead of time?


Assign the following meeting roles. Some people will take multiple roles. Read role descriptions here.  

●           Leader:

●           Appreciator:

●           Time Monitor:

●           Notetaker:

●           Asker:

●           Deliverer:

●           Photographer (ask permission of the MOC/staffer to take a photo):

●           Thank you note:

●           Follow-up:

●           Discussion/listener: all team members

Meeting Outline

This is essentially the meeting agenda. It is meant as a guide. Be prepared to adapt as needed.




Introductions (time check)

Discussion/Open-Ended Questions/Reflections

Thanking Them for Meeting


Listen & Learn

Summarize/Determine Follow-Up

Share CCL’s Purpose

Secondary Asks

Closing and Photo

Make the Ask



1. Introductions

    • Meeting Lead: Thank the MOC or staffer for meeting with us and facilitate introduction of CCL team members. 
      • Each person might share their name, hometown, occupation, and one sentence about what inspires their action on climate. 
      • When the time monitor introduces themself they say, “How much time do you have for this meeting? I’ll give a signal when we have 5 minutes left.”
      • The appreciator goes last and makes the appreciation after introducing themself. 
      • If appropriate and time permits, one person could share a personal story that may resonate with the MOC or staffer.
    • Meeting Lead: Ask the staffer to introduce themself to learn a little about their background. 
  1. Purpose 
    • Designated team member: Unless you are very familiar with the staffer/MOC, briefly restate our purpose, for example: “Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to create the political will for a livable world. We have volunteers across the country building support for bipartisan solutions to address climate change.”
    • Designated team member: Briefly summarize the last meeting with the office. 
  2. Ask 
    • Asker - “Today we’re here to ask for your support of [insert bill name].”  Provide a brief summary of the bill.
  3. Discussion/Listen & Learn - includes all team members.
    • Asker: “Are you familiar with this bill?” If no, “Would you like us to share a little  more about the bill now, or do you have some questions first?” If they are familiar, “What are your thoughts about the bill?”
    • Refer to the open-ended questions you developed as appropriate. 
    • Meeting Lead/Asker: As the discussion winds down, if it’s not clear where the member stands on supporting the bill, ask “When this bill comes up for a vote, will [MOC] support it?” 
    •  If it becomes clear they cannot commit to your ask, make sure you clearly understand what holds them back. 
    • Designated volunteer: “What could we be doing more of in the district to make it easier for you to support this policy [or other ask, as appropriate]?”
  4. Secondary Ask
    •  Asker: “We also wondered if  [MOC NAME] would support [name secondary ask for this meeting, with very brief description.]” 
    • Discussion as time permits.
  5. Wrapup
    • Time Monitor: signals the team when five minutes remain in the meeting.
    • Designated volunteer: Thank them for the meeting.  Summarize the meeting, highlighting what the MOC/staffer said and any follow-up agreements on either side. If the ask is being considered or the ask needs to be shared with the MOC still, ask when we should follow-up with the staffer. 
    • Photographer: With permission, take a group photo with the MOC/staffer (or a screen capture if this is a virtual meeting).

Things to do after the meeting:

●           The team should debrief after the meeting. If you are in person, immediately have the team members sign a thank you note and have a designated team member walk this back into the office. (Don’t seal the envelope, they may not accept it for security reasons.)  If this was a virtual meeting, have the liaison/lobby meeting lead send a thank you note via email from the team.

●           Liaison and team will do any research that was requested of them, and liaison will send any follow-up information to the staffer within a couple of weeks.

Things not to do:

●           Record audio or video of lobby meetings

●           Take photos without asking for permission

●           Use Zoom or other applications to create a transcript of lobby meetings or allow apps/bots to attend virtual meetings

Related Trainings
Lobbying Congress
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