Let’s start with a worst-case scenario: Your coalition has turned into a cumbersome, unruly beast that’s creating disturbing, seemingly deep-seated fissures between you and your allies. Group decision-making has broken down. Your friends have become your enemies. And everybody’s fighting over who gets what (attention, credit, spoils, etc).

Thankfully, it’s not often that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. When managed well, coalitions offer the potential to build greater power and effectiveness for reaching your goals. Most big problems with coalitions often start with small cracks in the coalition’s foundation. But by taking the time to think things through and clearly define goals, roles and resources, you can avoid the major pitfalls of working in a coalition.

Our newest white paper by M+R veterans, Tom Novick and Michael O’Loughlin, provides valuable insight into what makes effective coalitions work. To give you a taste of what’s in store, check out this top-10 list for how to make sure a coalition works for you and everyone else involved:

10 Tips For Running An Effective Coalition

  1. Participate in a coalition only if it will help you build power and influence for your campaign(s).
  2. Choose a unifying principle/mission.
  3. Agree to disagreeā€¦ then focus on issues where you do agree.
  4. Recognize that contributions vary, and value that.
  5. Establish clear and transparent channels for group communication.
  6. Structure decision-making carefully.
  7. Track progress carefully and report on a frequent and regular basis.
  8. Plan! Make sure you have realistic strategies and clearly defined tactics.
  9. Help organizations achieve goals that are in their self-interest.
  10. Distribute credit fairly.

Read the full white paper for even more best practices for forming and managing coalitions!

Ready for the next step? Check out our next post: 6 tips for successfully manage the online aspects of a coalition. It cover web sites, email marketing, list building, social media and more!