Customized Coalition Building Consultation

Empower Your Journey from Promise to Practice

Addressing Your Coalition's Challenges

  • Is your coalition creating meaningful community change? Can you measure it?
  • Are you accomplishing too little in too much time?
  • Do certain individuals or agencies dominate your organization's agenda?
  • Are responsibility and authority clearly assigned?
  • Are the individuals and groups most affected by your coalition's issues represented at the table?
  • Do you have a sustainability plan for the future?
  • Do you need to re-energize your people, your direction and your goals?

Our customized coalition building consulting services will help you address these and other key issues. We will tailor a range of interventions designed to help you achieve your goals, efficiently and successfully. Our services include training, consultation, coaching, retreats, monitoring/evaluation and resource development.

Specialized Training on Coalition Building Strategies

Our one- and two-day trainings address the needs of specific audiences. We use small group exercises and simulations that engage participants in experiential learning and help them think more deeply about the issues. Participants are provided with extensive written materials, audiovisual aids and other practical tools.

Specific workshop topics to choose among:

  • Building Effective Collaborative Leadership
  • Engaging the Grassroots
  • Costs and Benefits of Collaboration
  • Overcoming Barriers and Challenges
  • Successfully Sustaining Your Collaborative
  • Building Healthy Communities
  • Spirituality and Coalition Building
  • Coalition Evaluation: Practical Tools
  • Thriving and Surviving as Coalition Leaders
  • Coalition Structure and Governance That Works
  • Developing a Vision for Your Coalition
  • Principles of Success
  • Community Assessment
  • Coalition Start Up
  • Cultural Competence and Inclusion in Coalition Building

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Personalized Coaching

Our personal on-site and phone consultation/coaching will provide you with an experienced professional to help you navigate tough terrain and implement the strategies you need to stay on track. Coaching results in leaders with enhanced skills, conflicts that are resolved positively and programs that deliver.

Systems managers and coalition leaders need someone they trust to view challenging situations in a fresh way and to find new interventions to old problems.

Tom Wolff & Associates maintains ongoing weekly, biweekly, or monthly phone coaching relationships with a wide variety of coalition leaders and coalition systems leaders across the country.

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Annual Retreats

All coalitions need regular occasions for reflection and renewal. We can provide professionally-led retreats for your individual coalition or help you design retreats for your entire system. Retreats allow uninterrupted time for reviewing your past accomplishments and current challenges, as well as brainstorming and prioritizing your visions and goals for the future. Retreats can also focus on your organization's structure, leadership, decision-making, roles and responsibilities, and membership. Deliverables include concrete action plans and steps for follow-up.

Typical Design of a Day Long Coalition Retreat

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


Facilitator Tom Wolff Ph.D.

Overall goals for the day: To plan for the future of the Coalition in atmosphere of respect, honesty and candor where each member can voice their opinion and be heard. To reach consensus if possible on the vision, mission, goals, activities ground rules and structure for the Coalition as it moves forward.

  • 9:30 Introductions, overview of the day
    • Developing Ground Rules
  • Team Building Exercise
  • Costs and Benefits of the Coalition
  • Creating a Vision for the Future
    • Prioritizing
    • Making a commitment to the vision
  • Developing a Plan for Future
    • Mission and Goals
    • Activities/roles
    • Required staffing and funding
  • Committing to the Plan
  • Assessing the Structure What works? What does not?
    • Decision-making. Communication
    • Diversity of members working with new members
    • What structure will the coalition maintain?
    • Committing to the structure
  • Managing Conflict
    • What has worked, what has not in the past?
    • What will it take to past conflicts behind?
    • Summarize concrete next steps
  • 3:20 Review the day, bring closure end by 3:30

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Troubleshooting and Crisis Management

Even the best designed coalitions can run into trouble. When this happens, outside intervention can make the difference between saving vital programs and losing your investment in a community. Our combination of consulting, tailored retreats and personalized coaching will help address emerging crises and resolve conflicts in positive ways.

Case example:

In the case of one violence prevention coalition TomWolff & Associates began their work with a retreat for the Coalition’s Board. The retreat served as a forum for identifying and resolving issues. It was also a diagnostic for the Coalition and the consultants. This led to addressing serious leadership issues through coaching and conflict resolution. The results were a change in Coalition leadership and a realignment of the Board’s membership. Relationships between the Board and staff were also clarified. Our consultants then worked with the new staff and the board to strengthen and sustain the efforts and plan for sustainability. A successful sustainability plan was implemented and ongoing coaching continues with the staff.

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Monitoring and Evaluation

Coalitions tend to avoid documentation and evaluation for many reasons. Yet sustainability and effectiveness are contingent on your capacity to document success. Our Monitoring and Evaluation services will help your collaborative approach the process of evaluation with enthusiasm and support. We will also provide your coalition or system with appropriate tools that are easy to administer and interpret.

Tom Wolff & Associates use a wide variety of instruments developed by staff and others for coalition evaluation of process and outcome including:

  • Annual Satisfaction Survey for Community Coalitions
  • Assessing Your Collaboration’s Commitment to Agency-Based and Community-Based Approaches
  • Climate Diagnostic Tool: The Six R’s of Participation
  • Responsibility Charting
  • Inclusivity Checklist
  • Sustainability Benchmarks
  • Coalition Annual Report

The complete tools can be found in this free article (pdf).

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