Multiple benefits can accrue when community coalitions conduct asthma surveillance activities. Surveillance data are used to identify children with asthma, assess disease burden and needs in the community, understand the illness and risk factors, identify children with asthma who are undertreated, plan community interventions, evaluate the effect of interventions, and monitor trends. These data, which are used to inform coalition and program decisions and to evaluate asthma interventions, can also be used to strengthen state and national asthma surveillance efforts and to inform clinical practice and public health policies. Local coalition data collection represents a complementary approach to national asthma surveillance, allowing action at the local level and showing how local findings vary from national observations. The Allies Against Asthma coalitions developed several practical means to conduct childhood asthma surveillance that informed coalition efforts and facilitated innovative linkages among government officials, health care providers, community agencies, families, and academicians and/or researchers.