How will you build a wider network?
Beyond an initial group of organisations, most (but not all) coalitions will seek to engage the participation of a wider network of members. Often it is this wider network that will truly form the coalition and be vital to its ongoing work. The key tools in this effort are likely to be existing networks and the energy of individuals.
Although networks over email are very accessible, mass emails are not the same as identifying and directly engaging and motivating individuals who will be active coalition partners. Those people committed to growing the coalition need to invest time and energy in building their personal relationships with the individuals in other NGOs who can make a coalition membership not just a list on a website, but a dynamic force. Word of mouth, personal recommendations of people to talk to and face-to- face conversations provide the basis for building partnerships that will have strength.
Before reaching out to build a membership it is worth considering structural issues and developing guidance for potential members on what their role will be and what is expected of them. These issues are discussed
more in the next section on coalition structure.