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Tips for Building Successful Coalitions

Pitfalls to Avoid

  • start with small actions and events, build from there
  • stick to the issues and goals around which there is unity
  • do not allow an individual or a few individuals to control
  • share tasks amongst a wide range of people
  • develop tactics and hold events that have a clear sense of mobilization, a growing movement
  • arrive at a compromise when need be
  • arrive at a reasonable balance between planning and action
  • evaluate and reassess on a regular basis
  • build in fun and celebration
  • design for a range of actions that accommodates specific needs, schedules, talents and limitations
  • be up front with any concerns about working together
  • actively listen to each member’s contribution
  • power imbalances
  • lack of sharing of information or incomplete sharing
  • imbalance of benefits to the members
  • poor or hidden decision-making processes
  • too few doing too much of the work
  • unequal access to participation and decision-making
  • individuals taking credit for coalition actions
  • lack of trust and respect between members
  • roles are unclear and follow-up on tasks is weak
  • communication is too infrequent or too frequent
  • getting trapped in petty issues