Coalition Builds Capacity to Become the National Voice of the Physical Activity Movement

Field of Work: Leadership development to promote physical activity.

Problem Synopsis: In 1996, the landmark Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health drew national attention to the problem of physical inactivity and its health consequences for Americans. In response to the report, three major health-promoting organizations-the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance-joined together to establish the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. By 1999, the coalition had grown to include some 170 organizations representing public health, physical activity, medicine, science, business, recreation and other fields. By 2000, the coalition needed additional resources to fulfill its. Specifically, the coalition needed to build its capacity.

Synopsis of the Work: From 2000 through 2006, the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity built its capacity to serve as a national "voice" for the physical activity movement and its ability to sustain itself.

Key Results

  • In 2002, the coalition completed a five-year "Plan for Physical Activity Leadership" that articulated a mission for the coalition and defined its leadership role in advocating for policies that support physical activity at the national, state and local levels.
  • In 2002, the coalition relocated its corporate headquarters from Indianapolis, Ind., to Washington and hired professional staff in order to place itself as a national voice.
  • The coalition's roster of dues-paying lead members increased to 19 in 2006 from eight in 2000 through the addition of 11 major organizations promoting physical activity.
  • The coalition has become self-sustaining by increasing annual contributions from members. By 2006, membership dues represented 98 percent of the total coalition budget.
  • The coalition informed its members and other stakeholders about physical activity by initiating a variety of services, including newsletters, an informational Web site, legislative reports on physical activity, issue forums for policy-makers and national conferences.