Once you have clarified your coalition’s overall role, roles for staff and leaders, it is much easier to clarify the roles for members. Even though coalition members may have initially joined because they believed in the coalition’s mission, this won’t be enough to keep them engaged. If you want them to actively participate, they need to know how they can participate. They also need to know that investing time in the coalition is a good use of their time. Join me this week as I provide three steps to take to clarify roles for coalition members.
Find out what coalition members are interested in doing. If you have capacity, schedule time for one-on-one or small group meetings to discuss role ideas. You may also want to conduct a brief survey. Similar to the work you did for staff and leaders, identify interests and skills.
Create Win-Win Opportunities
When you can connect coalition members to roles that benefit both them and the coalition, everyone wins. One of the best ways to actively engage coalition members is to find meaningful roles that the coalition member would want to do. If you are struggling with participation and engagement, reflect on the types of roles you are asking coalition members to play. If they are not meaningful and valuable to them and their organization, they may participate for a time but it won’t be sustainable.
How can coalition members contribute? What is realistic? Are there options for different levels of engagement? If you want your members to take specific actions, be clear and specific about those actions. You may want them to share coalition resources with their staff or make recommendations on coalition priorities. Depending upon the coalition member, she may provide expertise on a topic or share evaluation data. If you find that some of your coalition members are confused or unclear, ask more questions and practice being more specific and clear.
So what about you? What are you going to do this week to clarify roles for coalition members?