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Strengthening the climate around OST requires United Ways to be intentional and comprehensive in their approach. United Ways must consider the many factors that contribute to the roots of the issue and also integrate community members from diverse backgrounds into the OST program development & implementation process. Developing a coalition is an effective strategy for engaging institutions and individuals to create a shared vision for Out-of-School Time.

Benefit of OST Coalitions

Instead of over-allocating your United Way's resources and under-utilizing community resources, your United Way can work to build or strengthen an Out-of-School Time (OST) coalition. Coalitions can better channel the aspirations, priorities and needs of the community as well as align and coordinate resources to create and sustain a systemic approach to Out-of-School Time. Many United Ways are well positioned in communities to lead or facilitate a coalition's efforts to engage individuals and institutions in support of Out-of-School Time.

Creating a high-quality Out-of-School Time system is a long-term undertaking. Your United Way needs strategic partners to inform and be part of creating a shared vision of Out-of-School Time for the community. You also need partners to take responsibility for executing on specific strategies that will help your community realize the vision. Building and sustaining a strong Out-of-School Time coalition can help achieve a shared vision of community goals, but partners need to be engaged strategically early on, with a common end goal in mind.


Role of United Ways

In the realm of coalition-building for Out-of-School Time, United Ways play a key role. Click below to learn more about the specific roles United Ways can play and the main actions United Ways should take. Also, head to the Featured Topics page to stay up-to-date on the current movements in the out-of-school field so that your United Way can most effectively work to build and support coalitions.

To learn more about building and sustaining an effective coalition, check out the Learning Modules.


This toolkit can help you think about the roles your United Way can play to build new (or add value to existing) out-of-school time coalitions.

Tips United Way Examples Additional Resources