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What is a coalition?

___You know that a coalition is a group of individuals and/or organizations with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal

Why start a coalition?

___To address an urgent situation.

___To actually obtain or provide services.

___To bring about more effective and efficient delivery of programs and eliminate any unnecessary duplication of services.

___To pool resources.

___To increase communication among groups and break down stereotypes.

___To revitalize the sagging energies of members of groups who are trying to do too much alone.

___To plan and launch community-wide initiatives on a variety of issues.

___To develop and use political clout to gain services or other benefits for the community.

___To create long-term, permanent social change.

When should you start a coalition?

___You respond to dramatic or disturbing community events

___You react to new information

___You respond to changes in circumstances or regulations

___You take advantage of new funding

___You address an outside threat

___You try to create significant change in the community

___You form a coalition when trust and perception of a need make it possible

___You recognize the barriers to starting a coalition.

Who should be part of a coalition?

___You include stakeholders, both beneficiaries of the work of the coalition and those otherwise affected by it.

___You include opinion leaders.

___You include policy makers.

___You include members of the community at large

How do you start a community coalition?

___You form a core group.

___You identify necessary coalition members.

___You recruit coalition members, using appropriate means:

  • Personal contact
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Letter
  • Advertising
  • Posters and flyers.

___You plan and hold an inclusive and exciting first meeting, where something actually gets done and people leave with assignments and the next meeting scheduled.

___You follow up on the first meeting, checking on assignments, reminding people about the next meeting, and continuing to recruit new members.

You continue to pursue the important tasks started at the first meeting:

___Defining the issue and drafting vision and mission statements

___Developing an action plan

___Working out an acceptable coalition structure

___Deciding on the need for professional staff

___Obtaining resources.

You continue to pay attention to the general guidelines for coalition success:

___Free, open, and multi-directional communication

___Inclusiveness and participation


___Setting reachable goals

___Holding creative meetings

___Being realistic about what the coalition can do

___Acknowledging and using diversity

___Rewarding accomplishment and celebrating success

Phil Rabinowit