Campaign Planning

Do Your Research

To run a successful campaign you need to first do your homework to know what you are working with. In doing your research you want to find out what your school cares about and what commitments and sustainability steps has the administration already taken. You should meet with faculty and administrators to learn what it would take for them to make a commitment. From there you can build a strategy and your plan!

To help organize your research, we have created a campaign planning worksheet.

Across the country, hundreds of colleges and universities have committed to carbon neutrality through the Second Nature Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment. First, you can see if your campus is an active signatory by checking out the reporting platform. If your campus is a signatory, you can find their reported carbon emissions reductions, reported renewable energy use, their climate action plans and find the implementation liaison for your campus.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education also tracks on campus renewable energy projects and power purchase agreements. See if your school has a Green Power Project.

Another key piece of completing your research about a campus is to understand who influences key decision makers on your campus, we call this power mapping your campus. To help organizers complete power maps of their campus, we have a power mapping worksheet. You can also check out the Student PIRGs how-to on powermapping.

To get a full picture of your campus, you should also meet with faculty, administrators and student group leaders to understand what it would take for them to support 100 percent renewable energy or to learn that they are already on your side! Check out our sample email for reaching out to key players on campus.

Once you have done your research, you can flesh out your campaign targets and strategy and begin to plan a campaign! Download the Student PIRGs planning how-to template to get started.

Want our feedback on your plans or have questions about what you find? Send the worksheet to our team at