Collaboration and Action

Since 2002, Vision Action Network has brought community stakeholders together to address some of the most challenging issues facing Washington County, including poverty, aging, and homelessness.

Through long-term community initiatives, signature events, customized facilitation, and urgent response convenings, we gather diverse voices across sectors for healthy dialogue and collaboration that leads to meaningful action.

Three people gathered in circle talking.

We’re a unique kind of organization. VAN’s sole mission is to promote collaboration. Borne out of a community-wide visioning process, we firmly believe that we’re better together. Our goal is to inspire conversation and encourage action, whether convening a large coalition to address poverty or a small group of community leaders focused on equity.

To do that, we:

  • Gather appropriate stakeholders around an issue
  • Help design and organize the collaborative process
  • Create access to people, resources, and organizations
  • Facilitate dialogue and brainstorming
  • Initiate and accelerate collaboration

“I appreciated being part a larger whole. It helps to identify that many people are doing this work, not just our small organization.”

VAN event participant

What don’t we do? As a convener and catalyst, our job is to set the table, invite the guests, plan the meal, and encourage great conversation around a specific topic. With new relationships made and ideas exchanged, participants are empowered to do great things together, and, with VAN’s facilitation, to get where they want to go faster.

So, when you engage with VAN, it’s helpful to know that:

  • We’re neither a technical training organization nor subject matter experts on every topic we convene. Instead, we gather the wisdom and experience of those who are to achieve the best results
  • We do not lobby, nor are we affiliated with a political party. As an independent nonprofit, we stand on the side of equity to advance the priorities of Washington County stakeholders.
  • We do not take sole ownership of the initiatives we facilitate or the results these efforts produce. We rely on our stakeholders to work toward their collective vision.

We’re champions of the problem-solving process, using human relationships and collaboration as powerful tools to address real-world challenges where we live.


Our Process

VAN engages in stakeholder conversations, conducts research, and gathers data to identify and assess critical issues in Washington County.

If what we hear presents an opportunity to collaborate, VAN engages stakeholders in a deeper analysis of select priority issues to understand the problems, agree upon desired outcomes, and consider potential strategies to achieve them.

Once a collective vision comes into focus, VAN helps stakeholders act on their strategies to produce desired outcomes and effect positive systemic change in the community.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to engage stakeholders across sectors to collaboratively address critical issues in Washington County. Our vision is a Washington County where all people have the opportunity to enjoy a rich and meaningful life.

What We Value

Two head puzzle piece


promoting an environment of trust, mutual respect, and care in our work.

Two human figures with infinity symbol connecting.


encouraging open and transparent engagement among our stakeholders to address community issues.

Four hands grasping wrists in circle.


actively seeking to engage stakeholders that reflect the diversity of our community.

Magnifying glass


striving to apply an equity lens to our work to eliminate disparities across the community.

Want to become a part of our mission?