Creating and sustaining a coalition is an essential task for any organization or group of individuals looking to make a lasting impact in their community. To ensure success, it is important to plan a meeting that focuses on processes and results that have an impact on change in the real world, recruit members with an appropriate balance between stakeholders, and secure funding for the coalition. This article will provide an overview of the strategies needed to sustain a coalition over time in New York City. When planning a meeting, it is important to assess the degree of penetration that the coalition has achieved within a defined community and set objectives that will document progress. To ensure an appropriate balance between stakeholders, both at the community and organizational levels, it is important to recruit members with different abilities and interests.
In addition to these specific groups, virtually any coalition can benefit from the membership of at least some interested citizens who may not have a direct relationship to the issue at hand. All other maintenance procedures should be carried out by people in the coalition itself. For example, a coalition against youth violence should look for adolescents (perhaps gang members) as main members of the group; a coalition for the homeless and housing should try to recruit current or former homeless people. Finally, it is essential to secure funding for the coalition. The commission received a grant under the New York State Health Reform Act, which maintained it for the next year and a half until the Rochester Health Care Summit was held in 2000.