Get the right people to the table to ensure that your coalition reaches all stakeholders, viewpoints, and subgroups that exist in your community. Identifying who in your community is valued can be helpful. To the Lakota, children and elders are sacred, so this was a critical role to fill at our table. A power vs. interest grid is a helpful tool to identify potential coalition members to recruit. Current members should be involved in this discussion and encouraged to bring a friend or two to meetings. Many people will come and go as their interests or positions change, so it’s important to never stop recruiting.

Coalition Framework: Community Engagement


  1. Complete a power vs. interest grid.
  2. Make a list of desired people to recruit (diversity is important).
  3. Challenge current members to invite people from your list.
  4. Reassess membership at least once a year.


Set a timeframe for recruitment and invite members to the first meeting.

Materials needed

  • Invitation card with details on the coalition goal
  • Expected time commitment
  • What they can expect to gain
  • Personal message about why this person is valuable to the coalition


For ideas on who to partner with and resources available, visit the Resources and Partners page.

What if?

People don’t come after being invited…

  • Have another person invite them. Sometimes it takes the right person and the right timing, so don’t give up.
  • Ask them if there’s another person in a similar role they would recommend.


  • Get as much contact information as possible for all members.
  • Once a member, always a member—members may lose touch temporarily, but may come back if they continue to be informed and invited to meetings or events.
  • Try to meet them face-to-face. It helps develop a relationship.
  • Ask everyone to introduce themselves anytime there’s a new person at the table.
  • Try to recruit coalition members with connections to desired partners and decision makers (e.g. relative or friend of tribal council member, police officer, healthcare provider, and any community champions).
  • Ask current members to bring a friend.

Čaŋlí Coalition Example

Lakota members at meeting. A Lakota elder holding a handwritten card that says, "Please...don't smoke."

Member expectations