Building Your Coalition
The structure for a community coalition is far different from that of a nonprofit organization, government agency, or private business because of the temporary nature of most coalition projects.
The optimal timeframe for building a community coalition (between the announcement of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) broadcast locations and the trial's start date) is 2 to 3 months to develop the coalition and another 2 months to implement the protocol.
A community coalition can function as a working advisory board made up of professionals who provide their advice, skills, and knowledge but do not have fiduciary responsibility for the project. The unofficial organization structure allows for the flexibility and quick adjustments needed for a fast-paced, short-term effort and alleviates any legal liability that other agencies may incur. The coalition also may consider organizing itself as a special project of an umbrella nonprofit organization that is preferably a coalition member. The nonprofit organization would then be fiscally responsible for the project, including holding funds and paying expenses. The organization, however, would not have any more authority or decisionmaking power than the other participating agencies.
Each community needs to identify professionals and agencies willing to take leadership roles in establishing a coalition or identifying stakeholders. Once a community coalition has been formed, it should develop a common mission, goal statement, and statement of objectives to promote uniformity of services among multiple CCTV sites and Safe Havens. Smaller working task forces will perform most of the work of the coalition.