query: difference between coalitions and partnerships

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Tue Nov 13 17:37:32 CST 2007

[ed:  thanks to Tom,  Andy, and Pedro for replying to Kevboy's query.]

From: "Tom Wolff" <tom at tomwolff.com>

I have always felt that my colleague Arthur Himmelman  made a great 
contribution to this question by defining networking, cooperation, 
coordination and collaboration which I summarized a while ago in a 
Newsletter- see link below. Hope it helps.


From:  "Andrew Mott" <andymott at communitylearningproject.org>

I guess that each of us uses the terminology in different ways.  For me, a
"coalition" is a group of organizations which have come together to have an
impact on policy.  They often have many members and the relationship among
them is quite loose.  A "partnership" typically is a tighter relationship
with formalized understandings among two or more partners, and the purpose
is to work together on a set of tasks, not to impact policy.

Andy Mott
Community Learning Project 


From: MrPedro2124 at aol.com

Just to add to the discussion. For me, and the way I make the 
distinction during organizing trainings is that Coalitions are political 
entities, while partnerships are professional agreements. Most people 
seem to grasp the difference then.
Pedro Rodriguez
PA Senior Action, Philadelphia

> From:     anil kumar <kevboy_anil at yahoo.com>
> Hi,
> i am a graduate student in Public Health and i am in Community 
> Organizing class and doing a project in this class. One of the 
> assignments in this class asked specifically about the structural or 
> functional differences between the "coalitions and partnerships and 
> their role in community organizing". I couldn't find any source which 
> specifically  differentiates these two, hence i thought you people might 
> be of some help. Reason being i always visit this discussion thread and 
> found some useful stuff over here for my class.
> Thank you in advance.
> kevboy.
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