Take Action! Set Coalition Goals

Set goals to align partner ambitions, provide inspiration, and establish a path for future strategic planning. This step will not only form the basis for your action plan but also will improve the potential for unity and success.

You will want to develop SMART goals:

  • Specific – who, what, when, where, why
  • Measurable – how much, how many; how you will know when it has been achieved
  • Achievable – is it feasible and actionable
  • Realistic – fits within your available or potential capacities
  • Time-bound – within a defined schedule period

The Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partnerships has created a series of Cancer Plan Tip Sheets, walking readers through a step-by-step process to help in updating their state’s cancer plan. Two installments in the series address lung cancer control, and give examples of SMART objectives from existing cancer plans: Tobacco Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening.

Examples of Goals for NLCRT Priorities

Remember that you will need baseline data (your starting point) to measure your goals against.

Short-Term Goals

Risk Reduction

  • Increase # of web-based resources educating the public about risk reduction activities and support.
  • Increase resources focused on educating PCPs about risk reduction activities.

Medium-Term Goals

  • Increase # of queries to smoking cessation programs.
  • Increase % of state lung cancer screening programs with integrated smoking cessation programs.
  • Increase # of certified tobacco treatment specialists by X%.

Long-Term Goals

  • Decrease overall smoking rates by X%.
  • Increase amount of state funds appropriated for lung cancer risk reduction activities by X%.

Early Detection

  • Distribute one-pager on shared decision-making for screening to X% of PCP offices.
  • X% of PCPs have watched a webinar about lung cancer screening.
  • X% increase knowledge of lung cancer screening in the target audience.
  • Increase # or % of eligible population screened.
  • Increase # or % of primary care providers referring eligible patients.
  • Increase % of lung cancer screening programs contributing to state database/records.
  • Decrease rates of advanced lung cancer by X%.
  • Increase percentage of lung cancers diagnosed at stage 1 by X%.
  • Increase amount of state funds appropriated for lung cancer detection activities by X%.


  • Identify % of patients with advanced lung cancer who receive biomarker testing.
  • Increase referrals for palliative care by X%.
  • X% increase in biomarker testing in the targeted population.
  • X% increase in health care facility adherence to evidence-based treatment guidelines.
  • X% decrease in patients stopping treatment due to financial distress.
  • X% increase in the 5-year survival rate for stage 4 lung cancer.

Shared Decision-Making

  • Increase % of PCPs aware of components of SDM for lung cancer screening.
  • Increase in % of PCPs trained in SDM for lung cancer screening by X%.
  • Decrease in people going through screening who regret the decision.


  • Identify at least X # of people who can speak to audiences about stigma (Survivors, care partners, researchers, health care providers, etc.) through a state speakers bureau.
  • Achieve X% of educational materials adhering to IASLC language guide recommendations.
  • Media campaign aimed at decreasing stigma towards people with or at risk of lung cancer reaches X (a measure of the audience).
  • Increase of X% in measures of acceptance and/or empathy in the general population.


  • Increase % of cancer programs using educational resources developed specifically for survivorship.
  • Increase % of lung cancer survivors who indicate their side effects are well-managed.
  • Reach 50% participation rate of cancer programs in a state-wide survivor surveillance system to monitor symptom/side effect management.
  • Reach 50% participation rate of cancer programs in a state-wide referral network for psychosocial support.
  • Increase % of lung cancer survivors who indicate their side effects are well-managed.

Tips and Troubleshooting

This section provides insights from coalition leaders on how to overcome common challenges related to setting goals.

Common Challenge

  • Partners have different goals.


Work together to discuss the goals under consideration, including how they fit into the agreed-upon priorities, funding opportunities, and potential impact of the goals. Reaching consensus means involving all partners in conversation, and it may involve adjusting the goals to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

  • We have agreed on a goal but do not have existing data to establish a baseline or target.

If baseline data does not yet exist, consider including a data collection objective as one of your very first objectives.

A Helpful Worksheet

Setting Goals Worksheet

This worksheet will help you map out the short, medium, and long-term goals for your initiative.