A Campus Nonpartisan Democratic Engagement Action Plan is a roadmap that documents specific strategies for starting new programs and initiatives, or improving existing ones. It takes goals and breaks them down into steps so that desired results can be achieved. It is a documented strategy to meet objectives, as well as to increase efficiency and accountability. Action planning is the process used to develop and document the action plan.
Completing the action planning process can help an institution assess current efforts, set short-term and long-term goals, plan and implement strategies and tactics, assess progress towards goals, continuously work to improve democratic engagement efforts, and build strategic capacity to support this work for years to come.
This work can and should be collaborative and occur in a team setting. Depending on the campus, this may be accomplished in a committee, coalition, task force, or working group. The hope is that through this process, the institution will be able to garner additional support and resources, change culture, improve systems and policies, build lasting capacity, and ultimately institutionalize efforts.
Action Planning Overview:
Why, How, Who, When, and Recognition
Developing and implementing a nonpartisan democratic engagement action plan is a proven method to increase and institutionalize nonpartisan democratic engagement. During this session, we will share information about the process, stakeholders, resources, support, and timeline for campuses to develop 2024 action plans, the programs like the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and Voter Friendly Campus initiative that support campus action planning as well as answer questions about the action planning process. This session will be beneficial for all individuals (students, faculty, administrators, staff, community partners, etc.) regardless of past action planning experience.
Action Planning and NSLVE:
How to Create Action Plans with SMARTIE Goals Using an Institution’s NSLVE Data
Do you know your campus registration and voting rates? This data is critical to understand as you begin to craft your nonpartisan democratic engagement action plan. You can access this information through the The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), a free service from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, which offers colleges and universities an opportunity to learn their student registration and voting rates. During this session, we’ll dive into how to effectively use this data to create a strategic plan with goals specific to your campus’ needs. We’ll cover tips and tools to ensure those goals are Strategic, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic, Time-bound, Inclusive, and Equitable (SMARTIE) so that they aim to ensure inclusion, create better outcomes for underrepresented communities and address political engagement gaps on your campus.
How to Build a Campus Voting Coalition
Campus voting coalitions can take many shapes and forms depending on your community and available resources. During this session, we’ll simplify and break down coalition planning through talking about different types of coalitions to the various partners that can be brought into the fold. This is for anyone – whether you have a fully developed coalition, are a coalition of one or are curious about what goes into planning for one. There will be plenty of time to talk about your experiences, bounce ideas off one another and ask questions.
Strategies to Increase Year-Round Nonpartisan Democratic Engagement
Civic engagement is a dynamic process that should happen year round not just during election cycles. During this session, we’ll identify strategies, tools, and goals that will help develop a culture of non-partisan civic engagement on your campus. We’ll discuss institutionalization of civic engagement, grassroots voter engagement, and how to implement your ideas. After this session you will leave with a better understanding of how to engage your campus community and increase youth engagement.