is it important for a CAT to partner with other community groups?
action teams can heighten their influence and expand their resources
by building alliances with community leaders and other potential
allies in the community whose interests intersect or overlap with
the CAT's concerns. Clearly, with more people supporting a cause,
more resources are available, more work gets done and more attention
is brought to the issue.
supporters for the CAT's aims and actions are:
Allies are groups whose goals are similar to or compatible
with your own. Allies can share information, ideas and materials
as well as help your team reach a wider segment of the community.
Consider building an alliance with a group that works on your
issue in a different section of your community, such as an
organization that works within or on behalf of communities
of color, the disability community or gay and lesbian groups.
Working together you have more resources and will be able
to service and lobby support from broader segments of your
community. Combining efforts with an established domestic
violence agency or other group that has already been working
on issues related domestic violence will enable you to learn
from their experience and avoid splitting the community's
support between your groups. Possible allies might include
local emergency shelters, rape crisis centers, women's health
clinics and youth-focused organizations.
Leaders: Gaining support from community leaders will also enable
you to win support of different communities, and will also help
to increase your clout and influence within the community and
beyond. When you obtain the support of a community leader you
have the opportunity to capitalize on their influence and power
in the political arena, the media, or with their constituents.
are key issues to consider in forming an alliance?
making the first move to approach a potential ally, think strategically
about how the relationship might benefit the other party as well
as your team. These thoughts will shape how you pursue and structure
the relationship. The key to working with an ally is identifying
their self-interest--that is, how helping you also helps them achieve
their aims and goals--so the focus is not just on how they will
help you. Initial conversations may need to focus on exploring the
common ground that your groups share--where your aims overlap, how
working in partnership might benefits both groups. For an alliance
to work, it has to be a mutually beneficial relationship.
factors to consider:
includes Tips & Tools for developing
a collaborative working relationship with an outside group or organization,
a chart for assessing how to pitch your message to both supporters
and opponents, and tips on conducting interviews with key opinion
leaders within your community.