Community Blueprint



The Community Blueprint Network (CBN) is a set of promising practices that address the following eight critical issue areas affecting veterans, active military and military families: behavioral health, education, employment, family strength, financial-legal services, housing and homelessness, reintegration, and volunteering leading to community change.

This initiative, administered by Points of Light was developed by a committed and expert group of over 55 veteran and military-serving organizations, the CBN drives collaboration, innovation, best practice sharing and more effective delivery of services among organizations that serve military personnel and their families.

Are you a community leader and want to get involved? Follow these steps!

Step 1. Implement One or More Promising Practices

Step 2. Learn From and Share with Others

The Community Blueprint Network (CBN) is led by Points of Light Institute and is guided by an Advisory Council made up of national experts. These individuals serve as volunteer council members and meet bi-monthly to provides guidance on the overall strategy as well as the development of tools and resources that are being deployed and implemented across communities.

Community Blueprint Network Advisory Council

Barbara Van Dahlen - Give an Hour

Bonnie Carroll - Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

Chris Marvin - ServiceNation: Mission Serve

David Sutherland - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Office

Geoff Deutsch - Armed Forces Services Corporation

Jim Knotts - Operation Homefront

Joyce Raezer - National Military Families Association (NMFA)

Kate Sylvester - America's Promise Alliance

Mark Smith - Blue Star Families

Mary Keller - Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)

Norb Ryan - Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

Robert Reeg - American Legion Auxiliary

Robert Verhey - Veterans Innovation Center

Ross Cohen - U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Sherri Brown - American Red Cross

Spencer Kympton - The Mission Continues

The Community Blueprint tool (which is being rolled out in phases) is being developed and implemented by our wonderful and talented VISTA members. We thank them for their service!


Implement One or More Promising Practices

For communities who want to enhance their support of veterans, service members and their families, this material provides a list of practices identified by experts in the field as important activities that communities should implement. These tools were developed through the generous contributions of over 55 experts from the nonprofit, business and government sectors. Before you dig in learn more about the Community Blueprint Network Tools.

Promising Practices

  • Create a Community Action Team: To increase community collaboration and coordination of services. This manual serves as a guide for groups to navigate and move through the various phases of the community action planning and activation process.

Behavioral Health

  • Annual Anti-Stigma Campaign:  Encourage veterans and their families to defy stigmas and seek help.
  • Provider Training: Train local health providers on special issues on PTSD/TBI and other veteran issues and resources.
  • First Responder Training -  Train police, fire rescue, school personnel, and ERs about issues and resources that affect members of the military community.
  • Ease of Access to Care - Make it easy for veterans, service members and their families to access mental health care.

K-12 Education

  • School Transfers -  Adopt systems to ensure easy acceptance of transcripts and credits of a relocating military child.
  • School Training - (Coming Soon) Train schools to identify military children and inform them on the issues and resources. Until this document is live, check out the Ready, Set, Go Training
  • Community Resources - (Coming Soon) Implement programs that welcome and support military children.
  • Annual Media Campaign - Celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of the military child.

Higher Education

  • Career Counselor Training - Train counselors about special military issues and resources.
  • Mentoring - Offer mentors to student Veteran, service members and their families.
  • Scholarships- Offer special financial programs for student Veterans, service members and their families.
  • Welcome and Integration- Develop and implement strategies to identify and support military-connected students and families.

Veteran Employment and Military Spouse Employment

  • Job Fairs - Implement job fairs focused on Veterans, Reservists, National Guardsmen, and their spouses.
  • Training: Reverse Boot Camps - Create a bootcamp designed to: introduce veterans and separating service members to the types of jobs available in their community; manage their expectations regarding office culture, career advancement and other issues; and to aid in the translation of military experience into civilian terms.
  • Employer Practices - Employers adopt military-friendly practices.
  • Annual Media Campaign - Outreach to raise awareness to the benefits of hiring a veteran.

Family Strength

Financial Management and Legal Assistance

Housing Stability and Homeless Assistance




Express Interest and Become Part of the Community Blueprint Network

We encourage anyone and everyone who wishes to serve with the military community to connect to the Community Blueprint Network (CBN).  The CBN is premised on collective action. We believe that we are better together. We also believe that part of making a commitment to better the lives of service members, veterans and their families is making sure that we are sharing our "bright spots" and our missteps with others doing this work so that we not only have an impact in our own backyard but rather that we have an impact in this entire great nation.

Blueprint Communities


  • Huntsville, AL - Still Serving Veterans


  • San Diego, CA - National Veterans Transition Services, Inc.


  • State of Delaware - POL - Delaware Health and Social Services, Division of   State Service Centers, State Office of Volunteerism


  • Miami, FL - American Red Cross
  • Jacksonville, FL - Points of Light/HandsOn Jacksonville


  • Valdosta, GA – Military Officers Association of America
  •  Macon, GA - Points of Light/Volunteer Macon


  • Fort Wayne, Indiana - Points of Light/ RSVP of Allen County, Inc.


  • Southern Nevada, POL-United Way of Southern Nevada

North Carolina

  • Fayetteville, NC - Give an Hour


  • Dallas, TX  - Allies in Service
  • Tyler, TX - Military Officers Association of America
  • Huntsville, TX - Military Officers Association of America


  • Hampton Roads, VA - Give an Hour
  • Williamsburg, VA - Veterans Innovation Center
  • Farfax, VA - Points of Light/Volunteer Fairfax


  •  Seattle Washington - Points of Light/United Way King County


Welcome to the Community Blueprint Network (CBN)! Points of Light Institute and our many CBN partner organizations have developed a set of online support tools to help communities who are implementing the Blueprint.


Access the Community Blueprint Action Planning Tool

This tool will assist leaders in assessing the military community’s needs, selecting impact areas, selecting and implementing promising practices, and measuring the impact to the community.

Take online courses to learn how to mobilize and lead others in service!

You may also want to check out the Community Guide to Develop an Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee.


Tools in these sections provide strategies and templates for raising contributions to support CBN activities, and to increase public awareness of the military community in your area, and the CBN-related activities underway to support them.

Community Blueprint Video PSA 1

Community Blueprint Video PSA 2

Community Blueprint Audio PSA 1

Making the Case: Securing Community Foundation Support


W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook


Tools in this section provide informative additional information on the military community and the eight impact areas.

Research and Whitepapers

Monthly Community Blueprint  Calls

Community Blueprint calls are held the third Thursday of the month from 2 - 3:00pm ET.

Call – In Information: 1-800-832-0736 *9792933#

These meetings are a time for communities implementing the Blueprint to share and learn from each other.  We will talk about lessons learned, successes, and challenges. Points of Light is excited to document these lessons learned so that they can be shared with future Community Blueprint sites.