Coalition of Projects Model

The Coalition of Projects Model describes a type of organizational and operational structure for campus-based community service programs.  Generally, this organizational structure is characterized by an umbrella organization of several, semi-autonomous projects each with its own focus on a particular issue or community, and its own set of leaders and volunteers.  It also include a set of overall student leaders who provide a range of leadership and support functions to all the projects.


  1. Umbrella organization of multiple projects
  2. Issue or neighborhood focused projects
  3. Group coordination of volunteers
  4. Cascading leadership structure
  5. Coalition-wide support functions for the projects
  6. Systematic training of project leaders
  7. Systematic exchange of challenges and best practices among projects
  8. Systematic quality improvement process ie community service funding board
  9. New project incubator
  10. Office space that’s student-oriented, has a “hang out” quality


This structure, found at nearly every strong service program in the nation, makes possible, facilitates and supports a range of benefits and advantages:

  • facilitates quality, meaningful, high impact service
  • creates meaningful student leadership opportunities
  • provides for a systematic capture and transfer of knowledge
  • provides frequent, relevant internal organizational advice through experienced peers
  • creates systematic processes for transition
  • creates organizational capacity to engage large numbers of students in sustained, quality service
  • shifts staff roles to areas of highest value