In this guide, we explain how to do coalition building. First, we explain what coalitions are. Secondly, we provide steps to start a new coalition. Thirdly, we help you maintain an existing coalition. Finally, we list some common challenges and explain how to address them.
Also check out our guide on strengthening a movement of movements. In that guide, we take a step back and look at the complex relations between social movements. In this guide, we focus on the practicalities of starting a collaboration in the form of a coalition.
When multiple groups and organisations come together to work on a campaign, they often opt to collaborate together in a coalition.
Coalitions, however, have garnered a reputation for causing campaigners headaches due to their frequently slow, bureaucratic and top-down decision-making processes.
In this guide, we look at an alternative way of building powerful collaborative campaigns. Networked coalitions, also called “networked campaigns”, harness the power of networks to develop more agile, dynamic and distributed campaigning coalitions that have proven themselves to be remarkably effective at building and channelling collective power.
❤️🔥 What are coalitions?
⚖️ Pros & cons
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How to think about identities without making them exclusive/an obstacle to coalition.
Build together an “alphabeth” for coalition building, in the form of an illustrated fanzine.
How to build a movement of movements: If all the social movements in the world for eco and social justice shared their strategies with each other and came up with one massive meta strategy for global systems change, what would that look like? What kind of plan would that be? How would it be decided upon? Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures…
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This article is an adaptation of the one published by Blueprints for Change.
Input and resources for this guide were provided by:
Marty Kearns (NetCentric Campaigns / Halt the Harm Network), Steve Anderson (NewMode / Open Media), Darren Barefoot (Capulet / Mobilisation Lab), Esther Foreman (Social Change Agency), Annie Kia (Lock the Gate Alliance), Ari Sahagun Mary Alice Crim, Umme Hoque and Amanda Tattersall.
This guide was prepared and reviewed by:
Creating and Maintaining Coalitions and Partnerships by Community Tool Box
Starting a Coalition by Community Tool Box
Maintaining a Coalition by Community Tool Box
Nuts and Bolts of Building an Alliance by Movement Strategy Centre
How To Build Networked Coalitions by Blueprints For Change
Building coalitions by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Articles & Case Studies
Transforming Coordination Within Social Movements by Jeremy Brecher
Networked Change: How Progressive Campaigns are Won in the 21st Century by Jason Mogus and Tom Liacas
Enabling Emergence: The Bentley Blockade and the Struggle for a Gasfield free Northern Rivers by Aiden Ricketts and Annie Kia