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Developing a Shared Understanding

Key Elements of State Coalitions

Some coalitions have made a conscience decision not to develop a leadership structure or have by-laws but do have a coalition accord document and a shared understanding of how the group will work together. Most coalitions have defined how they will make decisions. Some coalitions have a Steering Committee and/or a Board of Directors if the coalition is incorporated as a 501 C-3 (not for profit) organization. These coalitions have identified a chairperson who is a strong leader with a strong public voice who models the behavior they wish to create. They have secured commitments from others present at the first meeting to be a member of the Steering Committee. Some coalitions have officers and other leadership positions, terms of office, etc. and have developed by-laws or another governing document for the Steering Committee. All Boards of Directors must have by-laws (see sample by-laws in Coalition Governance).

Coalition Example - "Our Board of Directors was established in October of 2005 to better define the IL Pioneer growth plan and to support State regional development. 501-3-C status was obtained in the spring of 2008 so that we can apply for Grant money to facilitate growth of our organization." Becky Haldorson, President, Illinois Pioneer Coalition