Pro Tips

  • Avoid Founding Member Syndrome. Just because some groups were involved in the beginning, doesn’t necessarily mean they are more important. Except when the list is extremely long, it’s generally best to list coalition members alphabetically. Avoid separating your coalition into ‘founders” v. “late-comers”—that can alienate new signatories.
  • Build coalitions for the long term. Some coalitions pop up for one issue and then die off after a few weeks. That’s totally fine. But ideally, your coalition will thrive for years, based on trust and a belief in the strength that comes from working together. Focus on short-term goals, positive feedback, and inclusivity. If your coalition finishes its work, keep the mailing list intact in case a related issue reemerges—or find ways to transition to a related issue.
  • Work to develop a personal relationship with as many coalition members as possible. If previously engaged members start skipping calls and becoming unresponsive, check in with them individually. When you’re mulling an idea, give one of the one other coalition members a call and ask her opinion. Whenever possible, show other members of the coalition how important they are and how glad you are that they’re involved.