Do’s and Don’ts for Convening a Coalition

Consider these tips as you create a pet-friendly coalition to help your city be a place where pets and people can enjoy a great life together.


  • Invite to the table all animal welfare organizations and advocates in your community, so all voices are heard.
  • Be sure to include people with the different skills, talents and resources the coalition will need to achieve its goals.
  • Choose a convening entity to lead the process. An independent convener with animal welfare expertise can help guide the parties to an agreed-to mission, objectives and way forward.
  • Get input from members of the community through meetings or surveys to understand local opinions, needs and concerns.
  • Conduct your own assessment, as a coalition, to get a current, big picture view of your community’s needs.
  • Have a facilitator at meetings who can help make sure no single agenda drives the discussion.


  • Limit the coalition only to animal welfare experts. Involve local leaders who can help, such as government, business leaders and other key influencers.
  • Assume everyone will have the same agenda. Plan time for all to share their priorities. An inclusive process goes a long way toward acceptance of the final plan.
  • Assume everyone understands all the issues. Have experts in different subject matters share details about their area of expertise.
  • Forget to plan for sufficient funding. Identify your ideal strategy and tactics, then determine where funds will come from and how much will be needed.
  • Forget communication planning. Make sure you have a plan for explaining coalition actions to the community and the media, including shared talking points about the coalition’s purpose and results.

Want more ideas? Check out Trait 1 in the Playbook for Pet-Friendly Cities for tips on helping partners collaborate to end pet homelessness.

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