The benefits of establishing a coalition with multiple contributors and partnerships are numerous and extend well beyond the reach of a single organization. Coalitions can:
- Conserve resources
- Provide a broad range of advice and perspectives
- Achieve widespread reach within a community
- Accomplish objectives with a broad scope
- Develop greater credibility than an individual organization
- Facilitate the opportunity to share information across multiple community sectors
It is important to recognize that coalition members’ time is their greatest contribution to the coalition. Because of this, the more the coalition’s goals are in-line with those of the members, the less participation will feel like “extra” work.
Remember it’s okay to start out small! Build the coalition as necessary over time instead of inviting everyone to the table at once. The more partners feel like they are just one in the crowd the less likely they may be to see the value in their attendance and participation.
When building your coalition, make sure you are aware of any existing tensions between organizations. Meet with potential new partners one-on-one and be open about the goals of the coalition and why this potential partner is being asked to join. This will go a long way to help reduce ‘stepping on any toes’ as the coalition grows and brings organizations together that may not typically partner with each other.
Maintaining partnerships across multiple community sectors can help create a strong and lasting coalition. It is important to consider the needs and capacity of each member organization to ensure commitment to the coalition.
Check out the guide linked below for helpful tips and insight on working with faith, youth, government, business, and education sectors.