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Tools to Conduct a Workshop on Community Resource Mapping

So you want to conduct a workshop on Community Resource Mapping? Staff at TransCen, Inc. have offered this workshop around the country and have provided specific tools to help you lead a similar one in your state. The workshop model and tools were developed with input from states and communities around the country engaged in the community resource mapping process. They were flexible in the design of the tools so that communities could use and adapt the community resurces mapping activities to meet your unique needs.

You are welcome to use these materials as they suit your needs, however please credit the authors - Kelli Crane, Ph.D., and Marianne Mooney, Ph.D., of TransCen, Inc. - and NCSET.

About the Workshop

Download About the Workshop in MS WordMicrosoft Word document

Time Commitment:
The training can take a half day to two full days.
Who To Involve: Invite anywhere from 12-20 potential partners and/or key stakeholders of your taskforce.
Purpose: Begin the mapping process. More specifically:

  • Create awareness among partners regarding existing resources;
  • Determine what resources are missing;
  • Establish core leadership around a common vision and goals for creating a comprehensive system; and
  • Develop a strategic action plan for an improved system.

Sample Workshop Agenda

Download Sample Workshop Agenda in MS WordMicrosoft Word document

Overview of Community Resource Mapping

Setting the Stage: The Teaming Process

Session One: Pre-Mapping
Facilitated Discussion on Self-Interest
Brainstorm Resources
Create a Common Vision
Develop the Goal(s)

Session Two: Mapping
Map Around a Goal
Determine Gaps and Overlaps

Session Three: Action Planning
Action Planning

Session Four: Next Steps
Next Steps and Sustaining Efforts

Workshop Outline

Download Workshop Outline in MS WordMicrosoft Word document

Overview of Community Resource Mapping

Purpose: Provide a general overview of resource mapping.
1 . Provide an general overview of resource mapping. (You may use portions of the sample presentation in PowerPoint developed by TransCen, Inc., however please credit the authors - Kelli Crane and Marianne Mooney of TransCen, Inc. - and NCSET.)

2. [Optional] Resource Mapping Activity: Buying Your First CarMicrosoft Word document. See instructions with the activity.

Setting the Stage: The Teaming Process

Purpose: Prior to getting started in teams, provide an overview of the teaming process.


1. Introduce yourself, the recorder (if you have one), and ask team members to do the same. Quickly review roles, purposes, goals and the workshop agenda.

Suggested Flipcharts:

  • Introductions
  • Roles at the Workshop
  • Purpose & Goal of Workshop

2. Quickly review the groundrules, consensus-building parameters, and “parking lot” concept.

Suggested Flipcharts:

  • Groundrules
  • Consensus
  • Parking Lot

Session One: PRE-MAPPING

Purpose: To work through the pre-mapping components of the mapping process: identifying self-interest, identifying existing resources, developing a common vision and establishing goals.

Activity One: Facilitated Discussion on Self-Interest

Purpose: To identify the team’s (or individual team member’s) self-interest in being a partner in developing of a comprehensive system.

Instructions: Ask each team member to respond to each of the following questions. Record their responses on a flipchart.

  1. Why is it in your (or your organization’s) self-interest to participate in a mapping process to develop of a comprehensive system?
  2. What do you (or your organization) need to be getting on an ongoing basis to stay engaged in this work? Identify your priority need.

Activity Two: Brainstorm Resources

Purpose: To produce a comprehensive list of the various resources (organizations, funded projects, programs, initiatives, & funding sources) in your community.

Instructions: Using Mapping Worksheet A (all worksheets can be found in this one file, Workshop Worksheets in MS WordMicrosoft Word document)*, brainstorm a list of all organizations, funded projects, programs, and initiatives in your community that play a role in the success of youth in your community. Record the list of resources on a flipchart/or on Mapping Tool One. Keep this list posted.

*Mapping Worksheet A can be adapted to capture those domain areas unique to the system you want to map and align.

Encourage discussion among team members by asking the following questions:

  1. How are all these resources connected in your community?
  2. Do you view these resources as a bunch of programs or as a potential system?
  3. What would be the benefit of organizing these resources into a coherent system?

Activity Three: Create a Common Vision

Purpose: To come to consensus on a common vision for mapping (e.g., creating an ideal system for serving youth in your community).

Instructions: If you have a large team, break them into smaller groups. Provide each group with markers and a piece of flipchart paper. Ask participants to create/draw their vision. Think about key elements that form an ideal system. Then, have the group(s) translate their creation/drawing into key words or key themes.

Have each small group explain their vision (drawing) to the rest of the team. From the small group work, work as a team to write a common vision. If time is limited do not get hung up on word-smithing.

Activity Four: Develop the Goal(s)

Purpose: To identify 2 or 3 measurable goals that will allow the team to achieve its common vision.

Instructions: Ask the team to think about what is needed to help meet their vision (e.g., build a comprehensive youth system; improve secondary education and transition systems). Brainstorm 2 or 3 measurable goals (targeted outcomes) that are priorities for your team. Record the goals on a flipchart. Keep the list posted.

Encourage discussion among team members by asking the following questions:

  1. What are the desired outcomes, in measurable terms?
  2. What will be different after your plan is completed?

Session Two: MAPPING

Purpose: To map the resources associated with one identified goal, and to identify the gaps and overlap in resources in your community.

Activity Five: Map Around a Goal

Purpose: To map the resources around one identified goals, starting with the resources “at the table.”

Instructions: Have the team select one goal to map. Using Mapping Worksheet B, identify resources in your community to reach that goal. Using post-it notes, have each team member provide information on the resource(s) they bring to the table. Have each member complete the necessary information for each box [see Mapping Tool Two] on separate post-it notes, and post them on the wall chart of Mapping Tool Two in the appropriate boxes. Then, have each team member describe their program. As members explain their resources, pay particular attention to any gaps or overlaps in services. Note these on a flipchart.

Encourage discussion among team members by asking the following questions:

  1. What overall strategies will your team use to obtain this goal?
  2. What community resources are available beyond the traditional resources?

Activity Six: Determine Gaps and Overlaps

Purpose: To identify the gaps and overlaps in resources in your community, and how they impact your service delivery system and outcomes.

Instructions: Using Mapping Worksheet C, list the gaps and overlaps in resources in your community. Then, determine the implications of these gaps and overlaps for your community. Begin to think about the action steps that need to happen to address these gaps and overlaps.

Remember, gaps and overlaps may occur in services and supports, partners, youth populations served, funding sources, data collection efforts, etc.

Encourage discussion among team members by asking the following questions:

  1. Are there gaps in services?
  2. Are resources duplicated or overlapping?
  3. What are the implications for these gaps and overlaps?


Purpose: To begin developing an action plan around one goal, including potential technical assistance (TA) needs and “next steps.”

Activity Seven: Action Planning

Purpose: To identify action steps/strategies to align existing resources, identify new resources, and reduce duplication of resources.

Instructions: Review the identified goal, the community resources that support this goal and the gaps in services. Ask the team to brainstorm action steps/strategies for better aligning or using these resources. Remember to think about actions to eliminate the identified gaps and overlaps. Record the responses on a flipchart and/or on Mapping Worksheet D. Keep this list posted.

Encourage discussion among team members by asking the following questions:

  1. How well are programs and services linked together?
  2. What are the barriers to aligning programs and services?
  3. What action is required?
  4. What impact will this action have on your community?
  5. How will your team support the action plan through money and in-kind contributions?
  6. What observable tasks will your team take to achieve your overall action plan?
  7. Who will be responsible for each step?
  8. By what date will each task be completed?
  9. How will your team evaluate your action steps to determine their success?

Session Four: NEXT STEPS

Purpose: To identify the technical assistance needs associated with the action steps, and to determine what needs to happen next in the planning process.

Activity Eight: Next Steps and Sustaining Efforts

Instructions: Using Mapping Worksheet E, ask the team to brainstorm the types of technical assistance (TA) they may need to implement their action plan. Think about TA needs at the local, state and national levels. Identify the TA connections already in place in the community. Record these on a flipchart and/or Mapping Worksheet E. Post this list.

Continue using Mapping Worksheet E to record what needs to happen to sustain this action planning after this workshop.

Encourage discussion among team members by asking the following questions:

  1. How will your team implement this action plan to further improve your practices?
  2. What technical assistance will your team require to implement these actions?
  3. What technical assistance is already available to the community partners?
  4. How will your team celebrate and communicate the plan’s success?
  5. How will your team sustain these successes?
  6. How will your team solicit support for future endeavors and collaborative efforts?

Supplemental Materials

Effective Transition Planning Through Resource Mapping (Sample Presentation)
PowerPoint Presentation from DCDT International Conference, October 24, 2003
You are welcome to copy and paste portions of this Powerpoint presentation into your own presentation; however, please credit both the authors - Kelli Crane and Marianne Mooney of TransCen, Inc., a partner of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) - and NCSET.

Worksheets in MS WordMicrosoft Word document
Make copies of these worksheets for your participants and/or provide a disk with the Word files for participants to enter information directly into the file. These worksheets are referenced in the Workshop Outline.

Resource Mapping Activity ("Buying Your First Car") in MS WordMicrosoft Word document
This activity can be done at any point during the workshop, however we suggest doing it early on, just after the Overview of Community Resource Mapping. See instructions in the Word file.

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This page was last updated on November 29, 2017.