Strategic Planning Letter of Report

Dear TNT Members,

It has been a pleasure having many of you join us for the three sessions of our strategic planning process that took place in March, April and the beginning of June. We have completed follow-up and debriefing within our Strategic Planning Committee and with our facilitators, Sheena and Heidi from the Gifford Foundation, and hereby present to you this letter affirming the results of the process.

It was agreed that TNT is at its best when it serves as a forum, a bridge, and a catalyst for action. It was also agreed that there are many areas that TNT could improve on to be more effective. Below are recommendation for short-term, mid-term, and long-term objectives for TNT, and brief notes about each recommendation.

Short-term goals (within 1 year):

•      Complete a Facilitator Handbook - Scheduled for completion in September

•      Provide more detailed information about TNT at monthly Sector meetings - Staff Coordinator will compile and make available a binder that contains by-laws, updated list of policies, Facilitator Handbook, contact info of all Facilitators and Citywide Board Members.

•      Create clear job descriptions describing the roles and responsibilities of TNT personnel (Facilitators, Board Members, Coordinator, etc.) - An organizational chart and descriptions are in development.

•      Create more consistency between sectors in regards to how meetings are run, elections are held, and sector funds are dispersed - Sample agenda formats are provided that contain adequate space for assigning a welcomer at the door, introductions, printed mission statement, personnel contact info, ground rules, Board report-backs.

•      Improve outreach and communication between sectors - More outreach methods on a consistent basis, including Facebook, postcards, website, newsletter, door to door, emails, technology, and Board Members/Facilitators

•      Develop a formal, written fundraising policy for the Sectors - Scheduled for completion by end of August.

•      Celebrate accomplishments - Organize picnics, public events, press events, etc.

•      Become more intentional about inclusiveness - Work to reach out and engage diverse groups within the community

Mid-term goals (within 2 years):

•      Develop a leadership pipeline that allows new leaders to join the Board and become Facilitators - TBD

•      Create a communication flow chart - This is a document that will list "if you

need.... this is who you call or email”

•      Have an annual summit for leadership development like Syracuse Neighborhood Action Conference - TBD

•      Strengthen citywide collaboration to address common concerns - Develop a collective voice which will have more power when trying to improve our city.

•      Provide training for TNT personnel - clarify roles and responsibilities and how communication should flow between Board members, Facilitators, Sector Meeting Participants, the Coordinator, etc.

Long-term goals (within 5 years):

•      Resolve issues with the TNT Ordinance - discuss applicability of the city’s TNT Ordinance and remove reference to it if it no longer applies to TNT.

•      Strengthen the relationship with City Departments and clarify how Sectors can most effectively provide planning input - TBD

•      Reevaluate the TNT Sector sizes and areas - TBD

•      Reevaluate the By-Laws related to Sector representation - TBD

•      Increase the amount of city budget provided for special projects and develop formal participatory budgeting relationship with City - TBD

•      Hire an Executive Director - TBD

The recommendations listed above were the product of a collective effort that involved residents from all TNT sectors. We appreciate the strong interest and involvement we’ve seen from across the City, and we’ll need everyone to stay engaged in order to work on these objectives and improve TNT. Ultimately, if we are successful, we believe we will build capacity to fulfill TNT’s purpose and vision to:

•      Create a safe space for residents to dialogue, plan, make decisions and discuss concerns/issues as well as explore opportunities.

•      Represent a unified voice that reflects what’s in the best interest of our residents and neighborhoods.

•      Support and enhance neighborhoods through community building projects.

•      Increase civic engagement, community involvement, awareness, training and education within the City of Syracuse.

If you would like to be involved in future meetings of the Strategic Planning Committee or groups working on the objectives above, please let us know. More information about this effort will be shared on our website at and reported at Sector meetings.

Thanks for your involvement,

TNT’s Strategic Planning Committee