Comp Cancer 101 Wiki: Membership, Communication and Engagement

September 28, 2021
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Comp Cancer 101 Wiki: Membership, Communication and Engagement

This section of the Comp Cancer 101 Wiki covers comprehensive cancer control (CCC) coalition membership composition, the membership process, and how to continually engage members.

CCC Coalition Membership Composition

How large are CCC Coalitions? 

  • Coalitions range from 50-600 members. It is important to consider that large membership lists with mostly inactive members can be costly with relatively little payoff. 

Who makes up the membership of CCC Coalitions? 

  • The most successful coalitions are the most diverse coalitions, reflective of all individuals and geographic locations within a state, tribe, territory or Pacific Island Jurisdiction. Conversations and activities that involve health professionals and local cancer survivors, their caregivers and their communities ensure that the direction of local implementation activities will be appropriate, identify gaps, address local needs and strengthen broader policy initiatives to directly impact local communities’ cancer outcomes. (Source: Behringer et al, 2010)
  • CCC Coalitions have diverse representation from many types of organizations. The vast majority of CCC Coalitions had representation from:
    • Public health agency
    • Community-based organization
    • Academic/medical organization
    • Professional organization
  • CCC Coalitions usually, but less commonly, have representation from:
    • Government agency
    • Political leader
    • Business industry (2008-2012 data, source: Townsend et al, 2015)

What types of CCC Coalition membership are offered? 

  • Some CCC Coalitions offer different types of membership with different expectations and benefits. 

    • Individual vs. organization: A coalition transitioned to an organization-only membership, which helped with having a more balanced agenda rather than one dominated by a vocal few.
    • Casual vs. intensive: 2 tiers of membership could entail different levels of commitment and benefit. While partners may attend meetings, receive correspondence, and consult on activities, members vote and serve on workgroups.
CCC Membership Process

How do entities become CCC Coalition members? 

  • Enrollment process/requirements vary and can consist of simply completing an online membership application or require applicants to first request a membership application packet prior to undergoing a more formal review process. They may include: 

    • Submission of membership form to request a variety of information such as: 

      • Name, general contact information
      • Designated liaison/ point of contact and alternate (if organizational member)
      • Mission, description of related work (if organizational member)
      • Committees/Work Group topics of interest
      • Possible capacity to contribute resources or skills
      • Reason for interest in joining coalition
      • Referral source (i.e. “how did you hear about us?”)
      • Disclosure of conflict of interest
      • Signature establishing agreement
    • Approval process for new member applicants 
      • A dedicated membership committee can identify gaps in membership, recruit new members, review new member applications, or manage membership materials.
    • New member orientation materials to provide information about the coalition and helpful logistical information for members. 

Are CCC Coalition members charged membership fees or dues? 

  • Coalition members can be free or dues-based. 

How long does CCC Coalition membership last? 

  • Coalition memberships can be indefinite or may require renewal. 

What do CCC Coalitions offer their members? 

  • Many coalitions explicitly outline benefits of membership for individuals or organizations on their websites, in dedicated documents or as part of other official documents. They may include: 

    • The opportunity to make a difference or shape the direction of cancer control work; eligibility to join workgroups and hold leadership positions
    • Networking and collaboration with other organizations
    • Access to information, resources and professional development; subscription to regular coalition communications and news updates
    • Improvement of public recognition, awareness, or image; promotion of individual organization work through the coalition’s communication channels
    • Permission to use coalition logo/branding
    • Specific material opportunities (e.g. coalition funding for projects, internships for students, discounts for events)

What do CCC Coalitions expect from their members? 

  • CCC Coalitions commonly list member expectations such as:

    • Endorsement and support of coalition mission and priorities
    • Communication in both directions:
      • Voicing perspectives, ideas, identified needs, and other information to the coalition
      • Dissemination of coalition messages to individual networks
    • Attendance at coalition meetings
    • Participation and initiative in coalition work/implementation of priorities from Cancer Plan
    • Voting on coalition affairs
    • Communication on member progress towards coalition priorities, participation in evaluation
    • Commitment to abide by coalition by-laws or other ground rules
Membership Engagement

How do CCC Coalitions convene their members? 

  • Annual in-person meetings 
  • Quarterly workgroup/subcommittee meetings (in-person or virtually) 
  • Quarterly leadership group meetings (in-person or virtually) 
  • Partners volunteer to spearhead action items during meetings rather than CCC program staff

How do CCC Coalitions routinely communicate with their members? 

  • Successful coalitions communicate with members consistently, with a defined purpose and in a variety of ways. Regular communication serves several functions:  it keeps coalition members apprised of coalition work, it reminds coalition members of their role and accountability in the coalition and it calls coalition members to action when needed. 
  • Coalitions should use a variety of avenues when communicating with members including email, websites, social media, telephone and conference calls, newsletters and face-to-face meetings.
    • Channels can include e-newsletters, coalition website, and social media 
    • Content can include meeting minutes, cancer news, member news, and upcoming events/opportunities  
  • Putting a simple communication plan (focusing on who, what, when and how) in place to make communication with coalition members more effective. 

How can CCC Coalitions maximize the expertise of its members? 

  • High functioning and successful coalitions have a “flexible structure… that maximizes the effective and efficient work of its coalition members”. [Source: Habit 8, Nine Habits of Successful Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalitions]
  • Some CCC coalitions recruit members in a strategic and targeted way based on the coalition’s initiatives and goals. Coalition leadership identifies the expertise, professional networks, or resources needed to move the work forward and identify prospective members to recruit to fill these gaps.

How do CCC Coalitions improve sustainability and keep members engaged? 

  • According to The Comprehensive Cancer Control Movement: Ten Years of Success 1998 to 2008 some critical factors for sustaining CCC efforts include:  

    • Expansion of collaborations with diverse partners that represent all geographic and political areas
    • Special emphasis given to non-traditional partners, for example business and media
    • Consistent appeals for more resources for implementation of cancer control strategies
    • Acquisition and maintenance of skills in cancer control program evaluation in order to ensure continued efficient use of funding
    • Support of the philosophy that collaboration and resource sharing will benefit the “greater good”
  • Options to improve sustainability and keep members engaged include:
    • Provide members and stakeholders with specific ways in which they can get involved. 
    • Offer public recognition of member activities and efforts. 
    • Provide implementation grants to members. 
    • Shift priorities and workgroups
    • Facilitate membership-led events 
    • Establish a regional organization for larger geographies 
    • Update members with outcomes 
    • Contact inactive members 

How do CCC Coalitions manage in-kind support from members? 

  • Most CCC Coalitions report receiving in-kind resources from members towards CCC efforts, such as personnel time, volunteers, meeting space or travel. 
  • Options include: 
    • Utilize formal tracking to keep records of in-kind contributions. 
    • Provide public recognition of in-kind support. 


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