Stakeholder Engagement

(PREPARED Municipal Workbook)

Your master list of experts, advocates, organizations and impacted parties

A successful reuse strategy requires the involvement and commitment of a diverse group of stakeholders. Stakeholders are individuals or organizations:

  • that can contribute information, resources, or expertise,
  • whose consent or approval is important to the project’s success,
  • who may be impacted by the project, or
  • who need to be aware of and kept informed about the evaluation and decision-making process. 

Stakeholders may be involved throughout the project or may be brought in periodically to support certain aspects of the project. 

The first step in the stakeholder engagement process is to identify a Sponsor Group consisting of key stakeholders committed to the development and implementation of a successful reuse strategy. For reuse strategies that involve large properties or a large number of properties, the formation of a Stakeholder Committee may also be beneficial. Worksheet #1a provides a template for documenting and organizing stakeholders and their roles in the process.

Identifying Your Sponsor Group

These stakeholders have what it takes to move the project forward. Here are your hard workers and your key drivers of the project. Ideally, your Sponsor Group will include organizations and individuals that initiate and manage the evaluation process, as well as oversee the implementation of the strategy.  What each member of this group has in common is the desire and ability to get things done.

Typical sponsor group tasks include the following:

  • Manage the evaluation process
  • Provide essential internal and external expertise (e.g., technical, legal, financial)
  • Commit (some but not all) financial and other resources to the process
  • Carry out key strategies
  • Bring diverse groups together
  • Communicate & coordinate with stakeholders
  • Generate & maintain synergy to keep the project moving forward

Good sponsor group candidates include the municipality, community foundations, local and regional economic development agencies, developers, and neighborhood associations. 

Setting Up a Stakeholder Committee

Additional support and expertise are valuable assets for large-scale reuse projects. A Stakeholder Committee consists of stakeholders willing to meet on a regular and on-going basis. This group informs and energizes the sponsor group, contributing knowledge and expertise on technical issues, policies, and procedures related to the evaluation and implementation of the reuse strategy.

A Stakeholder Committee is often beneficial in the following cases:

  • Where the reuse strategy involves a large, complex property,
  • Where multiple properties over a large area will be reused, and
  • When brownfield reuse is envisioned as part of an overall area-wide planning effort.

Individuals and organizations can be part of a stakeholder committee. Examples include local business associations and neighborhood associations, as well as local consultants, engineers, and real estate professionals. 

Next Step: Establish Project Goals

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Brownfields Main

Content Last Updated May 12, 2017