Take Action! Expand and Evolve Your Coalition
As your coalition advances towards its goals or reaches a point where decisions about future directions need to be made, you and your partners will need to work together to chart a future path. Various factors in the external environment can require or encourage your coalition to adapt to new circumstances. Three potential factors/variables are described below: funding, changing partner capacities, and new information.
Factors That May Trigger Coalition Changes
The factors below can change over time and may require your coalition to adapt by reevaluating its goals and operations.
New funding sources have opened opportunities for the expansion of the coalition’s work.
A grant-funded project ends, but some partners want to continue the work.
Revisit Phase 2 – C, D, and E: Establish Priorities, Set Goals, and Create an Action Plan to determine how new funding might allow you to add priorities or activities, or invest in progress towards an existing set of goals in a different way.
A partner that previously did not have the capacity to convene the lung cancer coalition is now able and interested in becoming the coalition convener.
A previously-engaged partner organization goes through a change that restricts its ability to remain involved.
Facilitate candid discussions with other engaged partners about the pros and cons of the interested partner becoming the coalition convener. If a positive consensus is found, consider holding a new kickoff meeting or summit to celebrate the change in their role.
Review the activities the partner has been most engaged in and determine if the activities need to be scaled back or if other partners can be activated to take over.
Scientific advances result in original priorities becoming out-of-date and/or necessitating a new approach.
Updated state-level data shows advances towards your existing goals, which makes other priorities more urgent.
Revisit Phase 2 – C and D: Establish Priorities and Set Goals to determine how new evidence will impact your work. Consider how to reorient your approach with this new information, and how to report out on changes.
Revisit Phase 2 – C and D: Establish Priorities and Set Goals to determine how new data will impact your work. Consider how to reorient your approach with this new information, and how to report out on changes.
Tips and Troubleshooting
This section provides insights from coalition leaders on how to overcome common challenges related to expanding efforts.
- Deciding whether to expand
A good way to assess if it’s time to expand your efforts is by listening to your members. Are they showing strong engagement? If they are, it may be a good sign that you can grow. If they aren’t as engaged, now might not be the right time to recruit new members.
- Pursuing funding opportunities
Don’t just follow the money. If you take funding tied to a specific activity or priority that doesn’t fit the goals of partners or isn’t in line with what would be impactful, you can spend a lot of time and effort for something that can derail your whole effort.