York County's Dr. Frances Butterfoss teaches community engagement

While you’re out and about your neighborhoods this spring, if you see something you’d like to change, check out “Ignite: Getting Your Community Coalition ‘Fired Up’ for Change,” recently released by York County’s Frances Dunn Butterfoss.

The book “was created for community practitioners, leaders and activists who want to build and sustain innovative organizations and coalitions to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities,” according to the back cover. Butterfoss has the kind of background that gives credibility to the book’s topic. Her previous book, “Coalitions and Partnerships in Community Health,” is an essential reference for academics and practitioners.”

Butterfoss’s book outlines a step-by-step process that begins even before a coalition is formed. Included are sections on developing a SWOT {Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and guidance on building the organization, including value statements and slogans, as well as tools, such as a template for bylaws. An entire section is devoted to leadership, both formal and informal, and another to sustaining the organization over time. Butterfoss provides charts, graphs, data and pages of resource materials, including a section on vocabulary. The book, published by Authorhouse, is well-organized, easy to read and seems like a valuable guide for anyone attempting to build a community coalition. Butterfoss recently donated copies to the York County and Williamsburg Regional library systems.To purchase, visit authorhouse.com.

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