Chairperson. The chairperson has the primary responsibility as spokesperson for the coalition. He or she may sign letters, testify in court, etc. on behalf of the coalition. The chairperson does not necessarily have to be from the lead agency. Frequently, the chairperson also acts as the facilitator.

Facilitator. The facilitator is responsible for running the coalition's meetings. This person should be knowledgeable in group dynamics and comfortable with the task of including disparate members in group interactions, fostering group discussion, and resolving disagreements within the group. As with the chairperson, the facilitator does not necessarily have to be from the lead agency.

Individual member. Individual members are those people who do not represent a specific organization within the coalition. They often join the coalition for reasons of personal or professional interest in the issue.

Lead agency. The lead agency convenes the coalition and assumes significant responsibility for its operation. However, the lead agency does not control the coalition. The "lead agency" should recognize the amount of resources necessary to initiate and maintain the coalition and the importance of respecting the differences between the coalition's and the lead agency's perspectives.

Member organization. Member organizations are those organizations that participate in coalition activities and send a designated representative to coalition meetings. In some coalitions, "member" is an official designation; some organizations may choose to become official members and others may participate on an ad hoc or informal basis.

Representatives. Representatives are staff from member organizations who are selected to participate in the activities and meetings of the coalition. Ideally, these people have an interest in the problem, and their activities on the coalition comprise part of their regular job responsibilities.

Staffing. Staffing refers to the support functions necessary to make the coalition work (e.g. planning meetings, preparing agendas). Staffing is typically a responsibility of the lead agency.

Steering committee. A steering committee is a small subgroup of the coalition that takes primary responsibility for the coalition's overall direction. Typically, the steering committee will include the coalition chairperson and a representative from the lead agency. The steering committee may also include subcommittee chairpersons and representatives from other organizations that have a major commitment to the coalition's objectives. Steering committees sometimes plan meetings and may provide decision making between regular coalition meetings.

Turf. Turf refers to the "territory" an organization feels is rightly its own. Areas of turf include geographic areas, specific issues, and funding sources. Frequently, "turf battles" - disagreements over who will work in a particular region or who will apply for a particular grant - arise in coalitions.