A coalition is an alliance of groups working toward a common cause; a gathering or collective of groups sharing common goals. Those goals may include adapting, creating or developing public policy or influencing people’s behaviors.
Why You’d Want to Form or Join One
- To increase communication between groups and breakdown stereotypes.
- To increase involvement in your efforts and to create social change.
- To broaden and diversify your base of support.
- To gain greater public awareness of your efforts.
- To increase resources for your efforts.
Things to Consider
- How will being a part of this coalition bring us closer to achieving our goals?
- Is this an effective (and workable) coalition of groups?
- Are we comfortable with the other groups in the coalition?
- What resources would come from this organization?
- What obstacles might we encounter?
Types of Coalitions
- Issue (vouchers, abortion, campaign finance reform)
- Action (helping the homeless, defeating right-wing ballot measures)
- Event (March on Washington, candlelight vigils, National Day of Silence)
- Theme (civility, racial harmony, diversity)
Organizational Models for Coalitions
- Loose (Informal)
- Member groups exchange information and meet to coordinate activities on which there is general agreement by all groups involved; often there is no name and no resources except those provided by each group for its share of the activities.
- Member groups come together, establish a name for the coalition, a mission statement and a mechanism for making coalition decisions; groups often opt in and out of particular activities and contribute resources at different levels.
- Member groups empower an autonomous decision-making group to act on behalf of member organizations; representatives from the various groups usually form a body that has oversight of coalition activities, groups comprising the coalition often provide funds and resources, but the coalition keeps these and acquires others as an independent group.