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Americans United: Student Affiliates

Supporting church-state separation from campus.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Write Down Your Goals

When planning your group’s activities take a few minutes to examine each goal to make sure it meets certain criteria. Specifically, each goal should be SMART + C: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed & Challenging!


Not, “We’ll hold a meeting.” But, “We’ll hold a meeting for parents, educators and community members to expose the myths of school vouchers at such date and such time.”


Put your goals in measurable terms. Not, “We’ll get letters to the editor published in our local newspaper.” But, “We’ll get at least three letters to the editor published in our local newspaper each week while the legislators are in session.”


Real change takes time and resources. Try not to get discouraged if at first you don’t succeed. With each campaign you are increasing our chances of winning the next battle. You can also break large goals into smaller, more manageable tasks.


Set goals that focus on accomplishing your chapter/aligned group’s mission. Is it to educate the public about your concerns over school vouchers or charitable choice? Is it to counter the Religious Right? Stay “on message” as much as possible.


Set a timeline for when you hope to achieve your goal, even if circumstances change and your date must therefore be revised later. It’s better to start off with a plan, so you will know when it may become necessary to make adjustments.


Don’t be afraid to stretch a little. If you know you can get 500 people to write letters or make phone calls, but need 2,000 to counter your opposition—and can get that with extra effort—set the more challenging goal.