Funny enough after the isk making guides are done I was going to go into what to do and what not to do with alliances. Guess it can't hurt to put some of it out there early, but a lot of people in this thread are making some really good points. I might repeat some of what they've said in some replies but I'm not trying to steal anyone's thunder.
1. Do not ever get councils, senates or 'command' groups. Read that sentence every day you are making your alliance command structure and you will do better then 90% of alliances out there.
I've seen every fucking example under the sun, and councils and senates make everything fail and fail HARD. FLA ran under this (free lancer alliance for the long ago people here) and it was a giant cluster fuck, the only thing they could agree on ever was that their military leader IN MY CORP should be kicked because he wouldn't run everything by them every day. Oh and btw, this was DURING the heaviest sieging of their space. So we gave them the finger and left, something like 40% of the pvpers in the alliance ended up in my corp after that and FLA collapsed a few weeks later. They were angry as HELL that the military guy wasn't making massive forum posts, votes and sending them EVE mails about everything he did every two minutes. Fuck councils.
I've seen alliance after alliance try to make councils work, and unless the majority of the council is online for 6+ hours per day it won't work. So avoid it.
2. CEO's/Corp leaders
CEO's should be given a way to help out and advise, like a leadership forum but the leadership of the alliance has to be invested in a few (2 to 3 for most alliances) leaders that are given full power to act, if they royally fuck up and the majority don't trust them then ditch em. People who refuse to listen to anyone else when making blatant mistakes or running their fleets like garbage (losing a few capitals every few days is a great example). Don't ignore the CEO's and corp leaders, some of them have been in other alliances before and have good experience you can learn from and use. But don't have votes for everything under the sun, just listen to em and if one leader starts ignoring everything and becoming a asshole have a chat with him or ditch him if he's crossing the line to often.
Remember CEO's and corp leaders are leading their corp, and I've found it almost IMPOSSIBLE for a CEO to be both a CEO and an ALLIANCE LEADER at the same time. It literally turns into one or the other being neglected and there are too many people in game not willing to give up power in their corp to directors so you'll see many sub 30 man corps running a 500 man alliance and wonder why.
Running an alliance is a job, when it gets over 1,200 members it's almost a full time job. But hey, know the best thing about it being a job? You can hire MORE PEOPLE TO HELP YOU! Don't be afraid to get multi people in multi positions and when they burn out or stop doing their job fire their asses. I've seen alliance after alliance have 10 people in a single position like rental guy, but only 3 of them every logged in, the other 7 were listed as contacts but never did anything. Fire those people and make sure people know before you setup the position that it's a task/job position and not reflecting on how the alliance treats them personally.
To often people take it mega personally if you appoint someone new, they get butthurt, , then emo and then leave. That's because people started treating them like the second coming of christ in the job. IT. IS. A. JOB. and everyone is replaceable in A JOB. If not, then it wasn't a job, it was a cult and that's just fucked up man.
4. Too many cooks spoils the broth.
This almost falls under councils but the more corps you have, the more bullshit you will have to deal with. Many alliances in the past have tried to avoid this by only taking 100+ member corps, and that really is a good method to use. However most people don't want to merge their corps and most people are utterly terrible at recruiting. Combine the two together and the average size corp in most alliances rounds out at around 40 to 60 members, since about 2/3rds are alts most of em are >20 member corps. Each has their own leader, their own need for a corp office, their own need for a personal system to rat make isk in, they want their own moon reaction, etc etc. Find a good recruiter and avoid the small terrible corps that can't figure this stuff out or be prepared to deal with many needs that could be fixed by a few large corps.
Treat your logistics pilots like fucking gold, reward them here and there and make sure their not burning out. The pvpers in an alliance are what hold the line, if they have to pay extreme margins to build a new ship they get pissed, it can be fucking deadly to have a single part off your market where your alliance doctrines don't work at all at a critical fight. Get a few logistics people, usually a few from every corp that the corp itself will cover their mistakes if they thief you results in some good pilots and not anyone they can just drag off the street. Logistics people will make your pvpers better by having more and cheaper ships to fly, fuel where and when needed and infrastruture parts to make the space you have better. Get good ones and you can beat a majority of alliances out there.
6. Get MANY FC's not one.
There are many alliances that have had great potential but horrible FC's, don't let that happen to you. If no one is 'grown' or 'groomed' in your alliance to FC, then consider merging your entire alliance into one that is. To many times I've seen a really good FC never let other FC's even take a try at things, this is a massive mistake. FCing is a JOB and it's probably one of the toughest there is in game, but it's STILL a job. Get as many FC's as you can, just make sure they don't fight over leading DURING fleets and things will go well for you. And don't let them get into dick waving contests with each other over who gets to lead a fleet, because in a big ass war against a GOOD enemy your FC's will be called primary often and having dozens will mean your fleet is still being lead instead of being shattered after they breach your coms and find out who the FC's are to put them high on the target calling list.
Unless your alliance is ONLY in a specific time zone try to make your leaders, job fillers and FC's to repeat their positions in multi time zones. Have a rental guy? good, have 3 and make one Euro, one US and one AUS. Now people almost always have someone online or coming online SOON to deal with whatever problems, questions or fuck ups have occurred. More people means the work load is spread out and don't be afraid to ask others to HELP with work if one TZ guy is getting overloaded too much. This isn't like real life work, where if you ask for help they consider you not able to do your job and fire your ass. Get helpers and get shit done so you can PLAY THE GAME. If not you'll LEAVE THE GAME.
8. Moon/outpost shit
Don't EVER let one corp of people control everything, UNLESS it's like 1,000 people. To many times I've seen one corp running all the high end moons in an alliance, they get pissed and suddenly all the moons people fought over are out of alliance and in another within a single day. Outposts should be in a holding corp, not all of them, but a majority so not everyone can lose access if a critical corp decides to leave. Don't allow corps to put down 'for profit' outposts without notice, some corps think that they come first, then their directors and THEN the alliance their in. That's bullshit, leadership should be informed about an outpost and if they say no, IT MEANS FUCKING NO. Some space in the game is setup where an outpost is setup to bring the alliance income from a constellation, but a corp could dump down a refinery in the best system and capture some of that income. For example: http://evemaps.dotlan.net/map/Insmother/0-YMZM#sec Notice how 3AE is in the middle and has a refinery in the dead center of the constellation, yet at the back there is another refinery in MOCW. That is an example of a corp sniping some of the profits for themselves. (note I have no fucking clue if this happened in Solar Fleet, it's just an example constellation)
9. Ship replacement
This falls under logistics, but make sure ships that are replaced are EXACTLY fit correctly and allow some variation that doesn't make the PVPers call you fucking retarded for now allowing. For example, someone decides to use faction level gear on their battleship, still replace the hull as if it had tech 2 on it but don't disallow it being reimbursed because he had better gear on it. If someone is flying around in tech 1 gear on a ship when tech 2 is required, yes, that person would be denied and told to fit correctly. Basically have the people that do your reimbursements have a few brain cells to ram together compared to people the follow a system to strictly and just anger your pilots.
10. Don't fear mergers, embrace them!
If it isn't clear, mergers are a GOOD thing many times, yes there are very bad mergers but if you know what to look out for you can easily turn a medium alliance into a large one and maybe even into a super power if mergers were done more often. Often an alliance leader or leaders will reject a merger out of hand because they don't want things to change, they don't want to deal with other leaders or worst yet they simply don't want to lose power. There are SHIT TONS of >300 man alliances out there that if they all merged together might have a damn shot at getting something accomplished, but a few people at the top won't even consider the idea. Because hey, they know that if they simply just give it more time eventually a 500+ man super heavy corp will join them and they'll become a true contender! Bullshit. Mergers are great tools if you consider it a TOOL and don't go into it blind. If you have your eyes open and stay really involved a merger can make you into a true power. Never reject them and if their being done for the right reasons try to go for it.
Examples since I KNOW mergers are a touchy subject. Before anyone says 'But Banlish, that's bullshit your talking hypothetically, you don't UNDERSTAND, a merger could leave us high and dry!' I say your absolutely right, so let me tell you about the merger I not only handled but started myself.
(super condensed version)
I was brought back to 'save AtlasDOT' I knew as a DOT alliance trying to live up to the orginal the alliance was doomed before it was even formed. As such I was asked to 'fix things' I went to the closest neighbor I had in that case Cascade Imminent and took the alliance leader aside. We talked very frankly about the prospects of a merger, the good and bad of both alliances, the goals of each, the space we held and all that. After a few hours we knew it was a possiblity, over the next two weeks the merger went off and there were of course hiccups. Not every corp wanted to merge into a new alliance, some were angry, some were sad, others fell apart and left. There was a bit of thefts and bad feelings too, but that's because it's a GAME and people got emotionally invested in some of the SPACE we held over the group of people. All in all it worked out very well, at the time. A dying entity was put to rest and the local alliances were made better. Nulli, FAIL and ROL all gained corps from the merger despite FAIL gaining the majority. It wasn't the best merger by FAR, but it did work out and all corps have done better since.
11. Don't get too many alliances
Please don't fall into the problem of having the MAIN alliance, the TRAINING alliance, the RENTAL alliance, the LOGISTICS alliance, the EMPIRE alliance, the WORMHOLE alliance, the NPC SPACE alliance and the super cap only alliance. Obviously I'm going overboard with the example but don't go nuts unless you have dozens and dozens of good corps and tons of territory, I've seen 100 man groups make 3 alliances before they've even gotten their first 0.0 system. Don't do that, please don't do that.
This post is obviously for alliances in general and not just Grims specific alliance. I hope TASHA does well, it's a good example of some ultra large newbie (not NOOB DAMMIT there's a DIFFERENCE) corps that are doing things right.
Fun fact. I offered FAIL to contact this group and was told "they're too new, they won't do anything good." I think I might have been right and I'm glad they've proven that you don't have to have a ton of experience and skill points to effect 0.0.