In approaching the idea of “coalitions of the willing,” I’ll do what makes most sense to me right at the top: Split the two terms and talk about them separately for a while, and then bring them back together, and wrap it all up (hopefully) in a neat package.

So, let’s start with “willing” and get that out of the way first. Based on my 18 years of experience on the grantseeking side of the table, and now nearly 17 years on the grantmaking side, during which time I’ve spent a great deal of effort in and around coalitions and collaboratives and collectives, I’d say right now that pretty much no one in this room is actually willing to take on another coalition. In fact, most of you are likely downright unwilling, and probably grumpy at the thought. If you’re not checking your email right now, you will be shortly, and reminding yourself about everything that’s going on back at the office and grumbling about what a waste of time all of this is.

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