Community coalitions are a recognized strategy for addressing pressing public health problems. Despite the promise of coalitions as an effective prevention strategy, results linking coalition efforts to positive community outcomes are mixed. To date, research has primarily focused on determining organizational attributes related to successful internal coalition functioning. The authors' research complements and adds to this literature by offering a network conceptualization of coalition formation in which coalition participation is studied within the broader context of local organizational networks both within and beyond a coalition. The authors examine participation in the first year of a youth violence prevention coalition exploring both differences between participating and nonparticipating organizations and levels of participation. Each network variable, reflecting prior collaboration and being viewed by other organizations as a local leader, approximately doubled the explained variance in coalition participation beyond the predictive power of all available organizational attributes combined. Results suggest that initial coalition participation emerged out of a preexisting network of interorganizational relations and provide an alternative perspective on coalition formation that goes beyond conceptual orientations that treat coalitions as bounded organizational entities that exist apart from the communities in which they are embedded.