Collaborating with Coalitions in New York City: A Guide for Non-Profits

The New York non-profit organization is a powerful force for good, representing and engaging with organizations from all subsectors. From startups to centuries-old organizations, members dedicate time, resources, and experience according to their means and interests. To ensure the success of a coalition, it is important to evaluate and improve it regularly. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, and data analysis are all useful tools for collecting and analyzing information about the collaboration.

This information can be used to assess strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and make recommendations for future action. It is also important to share findings and celebrate achievements. In the early months of the pandemic, the priority challenge was to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) to New York. To meet this challenge, the New York non-profit organization brought together more than 80 member organizations that represent diverse perspectives and span sectors, industries, interests, and geographies.

This coalition, Forest for All NYC, has grown to include more than 1,000 organizations in 16 working groups. The Center for Community Leadership works with grassroots coalitions of neighborhood Jewish community organizations and other ethnic, civic, and religious groups throughout New York's eight-county metropolitan area. The Coalition for the Advancement of Nonprofit Organizations (CAN) is a sectoral coalition of more than 100 non-profit organizations that was formed in response to the COVID-19 crisis and was coordinated by Nonprofit New York. Leaders who continue to personally participate in the ideas that emanate from high-impact coalitions open their minds to new possibilities.

The urban forest is a fundamental piece of urban infrastructure that supports wildlife and biodiversity on a local scale and provides New Yorkers with a refuge from the stresses of urban life. A bank is still a bank; a software company is still creating software, but it must orient those capabilities in new directions that respond to the purpose of the coalition. Collaborating with coalitions in New York City can be an incredibly rewarding experience for non-profits. By evaluating and improving coalitions regularly, non-profits can ensure their success while also expanding their reach and receptivity to their objectives.

Leaders should also remember to share findings and celebrate achievements while orienting their capabilities in new directions that respond to the purpose of the coalition.

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Meghan Stearnes
Meghan Stearnes

General tv guru. Total music practitioner. Tea junkie. Wannabe twitter specialist. Incurable travel fanatic.