Citizens’ Climate is adapting to COVID-19. Some resources on this site may need adjusting to current circumstances. More Info.

Developing Your Chapter Action Plan

No Image Description
This training provides a thorough action guide organized by CCL’s lever of political will that your group can use to plan and coordinate your areas of focus for the year ahead. We trust that each group will do what is appropriate for its local politics and volunteer resources.
TOC and Guide Section
Major CCL-related events in 2020
Top Actions and Suggestions
  1. Grow your Chapter  
    • Orient and engage new people
    • Recontact and reenergize your roster
    • Divide and share the work in order to build your ability to work on multiple fronts
  2. Engage prominent community leaders
  3. Mobilize and diversify
    • Enroll lots of people in our new CCL’s new Monthly Calling Campaign and identify 1-2 volunteers to be your local administrator(s)
    • Build constituent support (utilize emails, phone calls, social media posts, or paper Constituent Comments) to create a steady drumbeat of constituent advocacy
    • Diversify your membership with more conservatives, youth, and people of color
  4. Start easy and grow
    • Start with the easy actions
    • Go for bigger actions as time allows and your chapter capacity grows

More action ideas and suggestions, organized by lever of political will, are below. Remember: You’ll be able to do more as your group grows and you develop new leadership.

Group Development Lever

1. Make a plan for engaging new volunteers

  • Orientation, Education and Training 
    • Offer a regular 30 minute orientation before or during your monthly meeting
    • Hold a Climate Advocate Training workshop for everyone who hasn’t had it yet
    • Share training and resources available from CCL national
  • Get them engaged and contributing right away
  • Have Fun - a welcoming, fun, inspiring, and active group culture keeps them coming back
    • Appreciate the work that got done every month
    • Find ways for people to get to know each other and work together
    • Have time in meetings for one-on-one and teams/small groups
    • Use what CCL national provides (Monthly Call, New Volunteer handouts on Community, blog pieces, etc.)

2. Reenergize your list

  • Throw a party (see grassroots below) or schedule a social meetup at a restaurant or brewery
  • Make calls to reconnect with volunteers who have been active in the past and get them back

3. Follow-up right away (within a few days of an event)

  • Have a person or team who calls new people and gets them connected and involved
  • Encourage experienced group members to invite new people to coffee

4. Divide and share the work

  • Ask different people to take charge of each activity you want to have happen. 
  • When new people join, ask them to be a helper to that person. Offer new roles to new people.
  • Grow a team around your point people and work toward a team for each lever of political will. Holding a Five-Levers Workshop for your group can help you do that. Visit the Trainers Group on CCL Community to find out more.

5. Social media connection

Lobbying Congress Lever

1.  Find a Liaison if you don’t have one. This is one of the most important CCL roles. Support new people to grow into this role. Email all liaison changes to

2. Plan how you will deepen the relationship with your members of Congress.

  • Be helpful and evaluate your approach frequently
  • What evidence of support is most important to your members of Congress?
    • Constituent Support? - work with your grassroots team to get lots of calls, emails, tweets or constituent comments.
    • Published Media? - work with your media team to be published or get an editorial.
    • Grasstops support? - work with your grasstops teams to find influential leaders to support the bill. Bring local leaders and endorsements to lobby meetings. 

3. Plan next steps with your Representative(s). Review “Making primary and supporting asks”. 

Bill co-sponsors: Ask them to help to secure more co-sponsors. If appropriate, ask them to join the House Climate Solutions Caucus. 

Non-cosponsors: Address your Representative’s questions or reservations about the bill and move them up the support ladder. 

4. Prepare your Senators to support a Senate companion bill when it is introduced.

5. In-district lobbying - Feb-Mar. Consider including in your lobby meeting one or more community leaders trusted by your member of Congress. Rehearse with them before the meeting.

6. June and November Lobby Days- Help get volunteers to D.DC.- especially youth, conservatives, and people of color.

7. Get to know candidates who are running for Congress in 2020 and attend their town halls and candidate forums.

8. Social media connection. Make sure someone in your chapter is following candidates and existing members of Congress on social media, so you can stay updated about their priorities and activities.

Media Relations Lever

1. Set a goal for the number of letters to the editor and op-eds your chapter will write about the bill. As traditional newspapers reduce their space for opinions, write to smaller and online papers. Use CCL’s online LTE tool to send your LTEs to multiple small papers at once.

2. Create fun ways for volunteers to write letters often

  • Buddy up to write letters
  • Volunteers pick a week and sign up to write letters
  • Grow an LTE team

3. Find a volunteer who is interested in doing media work and mark them as a Media Manager in your Chapter Roster so they’ll receive media alerts and assistance from CCL National.

4. Meet with your local newspaper’s Editorial Board - Request an editorial or, if they aren’t ready, an op-ed

  1. Consider “earned media” opportunities - Your local TV or radio station could do a segment about your chapter, or a reporter at your newspaper might write an article about your work. Start to brainstorm what journalists might be interested, so you can send them a press release about your activities a few times during the year. If you’re successful, share it on social media - see below.

6. When you get published:

  • Celebrate with your chapter and share your letter with your member of Congress, if appropriate.
  • Log your action in the Action Tracker.

7. Social Media Connection: With the hashtag #GrassrootsClimate, share on social media a link to, or a picture of, all of your chapter’s media coverage, letters to the editor, op-eds, earned media, TV & radio segments and editorials. 

Grassroots Outreach Lever

1. Throw a party - Educate, recruit, and build support

  • Invite your group, all their friends, and other organizations to learn about the bill
  • You can reengage less active volunteers, recruit, and ask everyone at the party to call, write, or tweet their members of Congress.

2. Tabling - Make a plan for where you will table this year. It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day

  • Inform the masses and practice talking about the bill.
  • Recruit - use a sign-up sheet and have a plan for following up to invite signers to your next meeting or event.
  • Consider transitioning to paperless alternatives to constituent comment forms such as online writing, tweeting or calling MOCs right from the table.  

3. Presentations

  • Start small
    • Pick your 5 best organizational allies and set up a presentation for them (climate or enviro groups, churches, etc.)
  • Go bigger
    • List local clubs, groups, and organizations that have regular meetings of members. 
    • Send a proposal for a CCL presentation about the bill to everyone on the list.
    • Follow-up a week later with a phone call. 
  • Increase Capacity

4. Social media connection. While doing any and all grassroots outreach, have someone take lots of photos and share them on social media with the hashtag #GrassrootsClimate to show that your chapter is active and to help attract new volunteers. 

Grasstops Engagement Lever

1. Build support from community leaders - Demonstrating support from community leaders

  • Start small 
    • Top five community leaders who will most impress your MOC, or
    • Which community leaders can you easily meet through your network and will say yes!
  • Get more systematic
    • Make a longer list of local elected officials, large local employers, Chambers of Commerce, professional organizations, service club presidents, and other local leaders. 
    • Distill the list down to those you and your chapter can reach through your networks.
    • Enter them in the Grasstops Engagement Tracker so other CCLers don’t approach them
    • Prioritize the list and make a plan to reach out and engage with them.
  • Be prepared when you meet
    • When you meet, start with appreciation. Then get to know them and find out where they are on climate. 
    • When the time is right, educate them about the bill and determine with them what they can do to make the biggest impact on their MOC. For example, scheduling a personal call or meeting with the MOC, joining you in a lobby meeting, co-authoring an op-ed, or hosting a site visit, presentation, or business roundtable for the MOC.
    • Ask them to endorse the bill at, if it makes sense for them.
  • Resolutions
    • Where there is support, work on municipal, county, state, faith, and school board resolutions supporting the bill. 

2. Find one or more volunteer(s) who like getting endorsements and mark them as the Chapter Grasstops Engagement Manager (GEM) in your Chapter Roster Tool so that they’ll receive the CCL monthly grasstops newsletter and invitations to monthly webinars.

3. Social Media Connection: Amplify new and existing bill endorsements by posting about them on social media, and tag your members of Congress by name if appropriate.

Press play to start the video (30m 35s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Actions For All

Group Development

Lobbying Congress

Media Relations

Grassroots Outreach

Grasstops Engagement

  • Todd Elvins

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (30m 35s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Actions For All

Group Development

Lobbying Congress

Media Relations

Grassroots Outreach

Grasstops Engagement

  • Todd Elvins
Go Deeper
Discussion Topic
To Print
Instructions for printing this page on Community.
Chapter Organizing
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
Google Doc, Google Slides, PowerPoint (.pptx), Spreadsheet
Training Resources
Download this guide for your 2020 Chapter Action Guide