Working with Coalitions

Building coalitions is key to making an impact on the national, state, and local levels. Advocacy begins by collaborating with others who feel passionate about issues the way your organization does. A starting point could be social action directors of religious-based health and social service groups, especially local Catholic Charities agencies and state Catholic conferences or other health care organizations. In reaching out to other community groups, success depends on more than a common theme; it is equally important to clearly define the issue or purpose for which you are coming together.

The coalition also must clearly define its organizational strategy. Grassroots coalitions depend on cooperation from their members as they strive to expand their base. There must be a strategy developed to keep track of the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of each member.

Communication is essential for any grassroots coalition campaign. It is a good idea to establish a grassroots database through e-mail as an efficient way to keep the conversation between coalition members flowing. Constant interaction is a helpful way of developing new ideas and alerting members of recent issues.