What Is a Field Plan?
Field plans are blueprints – they help us to set goals, select targets, and lay out a series of tactics to be used to achieve those goals within a given timeframe. Field plans should be designed by a federation or chapter, taking into careful consideration their internal capacity for running campaigns. Field plans should be …
Field plans are blueprints – they help us to set goals, select targets, and lay out a series of tactics to be used to achieve those goals within a given timeframe. Field plans should be designed by a federation or chapter, taking into careful consideration their internal capacity for running campaigns. Field plans should be guided by a realistic timeline that leads the campaign to completion. Field plans also allow federations and chapters to think and plan strategically so that congressional outreach is purposeful and timely. A campaign can be geared to a specific issue or a specific time period. For example, if a chapter wants to take full advantage of August’s Grassroots Advocacy Month, the chapter leadership might write a field plan to prepare for August’s activities. Similarly, if a provision is in the budget and a federation wants to focus its efforts on encouraging its senators to remove the provision, the members might write a field plan opposing the provision. fieldap Field plans are relevant no matter how big or small the issue of focus. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) and the Protect America’s Heartbeat campaign sometimes engage in larger scale, nationwide grassroots campaigns to protect the earned benefits of federal workers and retirees. However, chapter and federation leadership should set goals and benefit from field plans as well. This document reviews the basic aspects of a field plan, and the attached worksheet will guide you through creating your own field plan and help you think through the most important aspects of your campaign. Goals All grassroots efforts should have clear goals. These should include both external and internal goals. For example, an external goal may be to affect the outcome of a bill or change a member of Congress’ vote or position on an issue. Complementary internal goals might then include: identifying, recruiting and engaging NARFE members; building alliances with other activists in the community; securing press or media coverage for a NARFE chapter or federation; or building the chapter’s capacity for advocacy in the long term. By setting internal goals alongside your external ones, your field plan will clearly outline what your chapter or federation stands to gain from having gone through this process even if your external goals (which typically are much harder to control) are not achieved.

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