What should we do to prepare?
Successful coalitions start with a solid plan. While preparing to build a coalition it is important to consider key stakeholders and potential member organizations from the community that have a priority interest in the topic or issue the coalition will address. During the preparation stage, consider the structure of the coalition, begin member recruitment, look into potential funding sources, and begin solidifying the initial vision, mission, and goals.
Forming the Vision mission and goals
During the formation stage, put careful thought into identifying the main issues the coalition plans to address, clearly describe what the coalition is going to do (mission), create a vision statement, and narrow down goals and strategies. If this isn’t done early in the planning stage, there is a good chance that you will take a lot of detours and may not reach the final destination.
Developing a Sustainability plan
The CDC recommends that communities working towards achieving a sustainable, healthy environment create a sustainability plan. This plan would include putting consideration into and creating the following:
- Develop a hopeful, yet realistic, vision of a healthier community
- Identify common issues, and organize local resources accordingly
- Connect people and organizations with one another.
- Anticipate and prepare for changes in the coalition or community
- Define what sustainability means to your effort
- Proactively develop milestones to gauge the effectiveness of your coalition
- Clarify policy strategies and activities in a formal action plan
- Establish evaluation plans for determining the effectiveness of your coalition
Start Building a Coalition
Think about building a coalition like building a campfire: You need the right conditions, ingredients, and care and attention to maintain and sustain the fire. Carefully evaluate your community as you begin building your coalition.