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Coalitions as a Tool for Advocacy

Funders seeking to invest in broad social and system change frequently partner with advocacy organizations to advance issues through policy change rather than solely resourcing direct service organizations. Many funders take this investment further and seek to support coalition-building instead of simply resourcing individual organizations. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation engaged TCC Group to research coalition-building and help funders better understand key considerations in convening and supporting coalitions.

TCC Group interviewed foundations and coalition experts, conducted site visits, and reviewed academic and peer-reviewed literature on coalitions. The findings are organized in a four-part framework, each representing a domain of positioning in a coalition’s environment. The four domains are coalition capacity and structure, context, support, and strategy. When all four areas are being effectively developed and considered by stakeholders, it should lead to effective positioning of the coalition as a whole.

This report provides insights for funders into when, how, and why to support coalitions under different circumstances. Advocates may similarly find value in some of the concepts and findings to inform their conversations with current and potential funders.

TCC Group brought its depth and breadth of experience partnering with advocacy organizations in a range of fields, including health, education, law, and others, to this project.

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