Who Is Needed to Build Effective Community Coalitions?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Leaders from all walks of life understand that big and durable coalitions are necessary to get things done. Whether it be in the workplace or at the national level, progress and productivity both require the assistance and contributions of many. While some projects can seem herculean to an individual, they can be relatively simple to an organized group of people.

At the local level in particular, building effective community coalitions requires the input of many different people. In most cases, bringing together leaders from all walks of life in pursuit of a common goal is the best solution.

As such, let’s look at the types of people that are necessary when building effective community organizations and coalitions.

Community Organizers

One of the most important elements to any nascent coalition is that there are people who know how to organize within communities. These community organizers often play a huge role in the initial stages of a coalition, helping to organize its structure, recruit volunteers and otherwise get the word out about the project. Many community organizers have experience in non-profit firms and volunteer organizations, making them great leaders for any non-corporate effort.


Building effective community relationships almost always involves securing at least some support from local political leaders. Whether they be elected officials or party officials, coalitions that have political connections often secure more resources and attention than those who don’t. US Senator Mike Crapo once said that “a major part of being prepared is having a plan”: there are few community leaders who understand the need for planning and organization than politicians.


Particularly true for non-profit ventures, building coalitions takes both time and money. While having a number of active and engaged people can go a long way, sooner or later money will be needed. As such, reaching out to prominent individuals in the community who are known for their philanthropic attitudes is crucial. With just a few well-placed pitches, any local effort can quickly secure the funding needed for its initial stages.

Religious Leaders

Most communities are filled with people of faith. These individuals look to their religious and spiritual leaders for advice, guidance and counsel, making them some of the most influential people in their communities. Any local coalition should heavily consider partnering with religious leaders wherever possible, as it can add both legitimacy and power to any coalition’s efforts.

Business Leaders

Last but not least, business leaders can be immensely valuable in improving the functionality and reach of local coalitions. Besides the fact that these business leaders may oversee hundreds or even thousands of employees, they also have experience with managing people, budgets and tasks. As such, these community leaders can provide valuable advice, resources and legitimacy to any nascent effort.

Building any effective community coalition will take time, energy and collaboration. When done properly, there are multiple community leader types who can be brought in on the project, making it possible to combine talents and skill-sets from across organizational lines. With these allies working together, virtually any coalition at the local level can be successful in its endeavors!

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