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Coalition building

What is coalition building, how to start a coalition and how to maintain it?
3 min read
Last update: Nov 5, 2023

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.

Article quality: โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ (4/5)

Related articles: 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 โ€œnetworked campaignsโ€, 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.

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  • Build together an โ€œalphabethโ€ 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 measuresโ€ฆ



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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:

Chris Alford, Amanda Tattersall, Alison Brzenchek, Umme Hoque, Mary Alice Crim and Tom Liacas.

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