A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
It is not an organization of individuals
teers, meeting space, funding, copying,
who are different from one another.  It is
publicity, leafleting, passing resolutions,
not an organization of individuals who
or other resources;
happen to belong to other organizations
as well.   The following principles for
coalition building are based on the
GROW coalition building model:
1. Choose unifying issues.  Avoid  shop 
ping lists.   The most effective coalitions
come together around a common goal or
set of goals.  Make sure the development
of these goals is a joint process, rather
than one or two groups/individuals decid 
ing on the goals and then inviting others
to join;
9. If there is staff present, they should be
neutral;
2. Understand and respect each group's
self interest.  There must be a balance
10. Give and Take.  It is important to
between the goals and needs of the coali 
build on existing relationships and con 
tion and of the individual groups/organi 
nections with other organizations.  Don t
zations;
just ask for or expect support; be pre 
pared to give it;
3. Respect each group's internal process.
It is important to understand and respect
11. Develop a Common Strategy.  The
the differences among organizations.
strength of a coalition is in its unity.
Make a commitment to learning about the
Work together with other organizations to
unique values, history, interests, struc 
develop a strategy that makes sense for
ture, and agenda of the other groups and
everyone.  The tactics you choose should
organizations;
be ones that all the organizations can
endorse or they should be taken by indi 
4. Agree to disagree;
vidual organizations independent of the
coalition;
5. Play to the center with tactics;
12. Be Strategic.  Building coalitions in
6. Structure decision making carefully;
and of themselves requires a good strate 
gy.  Which organizations you ask, who
7. Urge stable and senior representation
asks them, in which order to ask them are
at meetings;
all questions to figure out; and
8. Distribute credit fairly.  Recognize that
13. Formalize Your Coalition.  It is best
contributions vary.  Appreciate different
to make explicit agreements.  Make sure
contributions.  Each organization will
everyone understands what their respon 
have something different to offer.  Each
sibilities and rights are.  Being clear can
one is important, so be sure to acknowl 
help prevent conflicts.
edge them all, whether they be volun 
M a k i n g   C h a n g e     M     1 1 1






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