collaborative solutions systems planning

For Those Managing Multiple Collaborations

Coalitions are innovative delivery systems for community solutions in this new millennium. Unfortunately, the process of setting up and managing multiple coalitions can quickly become a logistical and organizational nightmare. Creating systems of accountability, sustainability, tracking, and evaluation can be daunting tasks. Designing and implementing a system of coalitions – nationally or across a region or state – pose many questions and present a wide range of demands for technical assistance. Is your leadership turning over too quickly? Is your current coalition leadership capable of delivering your desired results? Is your organization converting its ideas into action or does it get stuck in the planning stage? Do you have adequate mechanisms for managing conflict? How well are you engaging new members, especially those most affected by the issues? Whether your responsibilities are focused across a state or the nation, we can help you design and sustain a coalition system of excellence that operates efficiently, remains on track, and achieves your desired goals.

Tap Our Leadership and Experience

With over thirty years’ experience supporting organizations across North America, Tom Wolff & Associates brings significant expertise to those creating and managing systems of coalitions. We have worked with foundations, non-profits, and national, state and local governments in their coalition building processes – helping leaders meet the challenges of implementing large, multi-sector collaborations, training and supporting new initiatives, and assessing their effectiveness. We work wherever a collaborative process can be helpful: public health (substance abuse, tobacco control, teen pregnancy, asthma); violence prevention; school linked services; family preservation; traffic safety; toxic use reduction; hospital community benefits; domestic violence; and Healthy Communities initiatives (where Tom Wolff is a leading activist). Our team includes a diverse set of highly skilled associates who bring specialized talents to each project as needed.

Integrated Programs Tailored to Your System

Tom Wolff & Associates provides coalition systems planning and support that is comprehensive, integrated and tailored to the needs of your system. We start with a diagnostic assessment of your needs and strengths, and then design a Comprehensive Technical Assistance Plan using the full range of our customized consulting services. This means efficient use of your time and resources. Our Coalition Systems Planning engagements are structured as six-month to multiple-year relationships that focus on overcoming barriers and achieving measurable goals. Our involvement can focus internally on your organization’s strategic plans, conflicts and barriers – and externally on program development and fundraising. Our engagements are typically structured around one of three stages in your coalition’s life cycle.

Coalition Startup Package

Our systems architects will help you do it right the first time. We will help you design your expectations and apply appropriate strategies and tools to support membership, funding, communications and other initiatives. Our Startup Package provides you with the services and tools you need to avoid problems, launch your programs from a solid foundation and ensure the sustainability and success of your efforts.

The Coalition Startup Package includes a customized combination of the following services:

  • Strategic planning with central staff
  • Phone consultation with central staff
  • Design of an initial retreat for local leaders
  • Keynote address at initial gathering of sites
  • Technical Assistance needs assessment and plan for each site
  • Evaluation system design – including report cards tied to program goals
  • Initial training for sites

Timeline – six months to one year

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Monitoring and Support Package

As the work of your coalition progresses, we provide the training and tools you need to help anticipate and manage transitions in leadership and organizational struggles. We also assist you in implementing participatory evaluation and documentation procedures that help your programs remain on course.

The Monitoring and Support Package includes customized combination of the following services:

  • Ongoing planning for program success with central staff
  • Retreats at local sites
  • Phone consultation and coaching to sites
  • Multi-site gatherings – trainings, keynotes
  • Ongoing report cards and follow up TA

Timeline – multiple year

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Sustainability Planning and Development Package

Coalitions often get to the last year of funding and then worry about sustainability. Yet planning for sustainability must start early in your coalition building process. Our four-pronged sustainability program focuses on: 1) community ownership; 2) finding funding; 3) implementing policy changes, and; 4) institutional adoption of specific programs.

The Sustainability Planning and Development Package includes customized combination of the following services:

  • Final evaluations
  • Development of manuals
  • Planning for dissemination
  • Sustainability planning – leaving your legacy
  • Coaching sites and central staff
  • Dissemination trainings, and keynotes

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Help Government Develop Collaborative Strategies

National, state and local governments have often created programs to enhance collaboration at the community level. Tom Wolff has been involved with governments at each of these levels to assist them in designing their coalition building process, training and supporting their new coalitions, and assessing their effectiveness. His worked has covered an extremely broad set of topics including: deinstitutionalization of mental health clients, school linked services, family preservation, community violence prevention, traffic safety, healthy communities, hospital community benefits, and domestic violence.

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Work with Foundations

Tom has worked with a wide range of foundations, large and small. His work has generally focused on helping the foundation expand their technical assistance to funded community sites. Other services for foundations have included work on building coalitions, supporting the Foundation’s funded projects, and program development.

Selected List of Foundations

  • RWJ Health Fellow Program
  • RWJ –Partnership in Trainings
  • WKK – Sustaining Community Based Initiatives, and Community Based Public Health Initiative
  • MacArthur Foundation – Coalition Building; New Ventures in Philanthropy
  • The Boston Foundation

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