US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Preparing the Vision

Activity Area: What are our resources?

Vision Activities

Within this activity, the practitioner’s role is to develop a compelling case for involvement and to secure resource commitments from partners.

Develop business case – Assessing the possible outcomes of involvement in a visioning process will help transportation agencies evaluate their preferred role and level of support. For potential funding partners, involved stakeholders, or the general community, a business case may be presented based on expected advantages of completing a vision.

Example: The San Diego Foundation’s Regional Vision Initiative began with a request for assistance and sponsorship.

Secure partner commitments – Initiating and maintaining a vision requires the resources of partners, both in financial support and in technical assistance. Securing contributions may be accomplished through establishing partnering structures, negotiating financing for the sponsoring organization or securing pledges of in-kind assistance.

Examples: OneBay’s Sponsorship Letter is a fundraising solicitation to key partners in the process. Golden, Colorado’s Heart & Soul Vision 2030 Plan was a public-private partnership with the City of Golden and the Orton Family Foundation.

The research report for the Vision Guide contains extensive information about reaching stakeholders and tools that support stakeholder engagement. See Linking Community Visioning and Highway Capacity Planning in the PlanWorks Library Reports.

Visioning Components
Name Tools & Resources
Reaching Stakeholders

Outreach activities within this area are primarily focused on communicating with potential funding partners and key stakeholders. Feedback from these parties will help develop a business case based on expected outcomes of completing a vision. Collaborative techniques are critical to support the cultivation of direct financial and in-kind resources from partners and stakeholders. Community leader outreach and the formation of programs and partnerships will aid the practitioner in determining available resources.

Practitioners may consider these questions when assessing outreach tools:

How may outreach be targeted to key participants, including funding partners?

Can partnerships assist with funding requirements or act as in-kind resource pools?

Forming Partnerships

Partnership Models – Securing commitments from partners is a primary purpose of forming partnerships and a valuable tool for practitioners when organizing a visioning process. Formal partner commitment structures may be established, such as sponsorship opportunities, requiring funders to buy-in to decision-making bodies, or entering into formal contractual arrangements. Informal structures can be developed to elicit partner support through pledges of in-kind technical or cash assistance, utilizing existing contracting mechanisms for consultant or staff support, or fundraising to support specific tasks within the process. For examples, see the links within the activity area above.