The work of building a community begins with old-fashioned organizing, sophisticated relationship building and a diverse “big tent” approach to achieve lasting personal commitments to neighborhood action.
Only by bringing a wide range of people to the discussion, and by enabling them to shape and own what is being decided, do we build the critical mass of doers and supporters needed to drive neighborhood change.
Different constituencies are engaged in different ways. Rallies and public hearings may be good to alert the wider community and spur popular support. But other key supporters, such as a bank president or block club leader, are better recruited via personal outreach. Hard-to-reach constituencies such as teenagers are more likely to be drawn to a wall mural project or a concert.
The tools in this section provide a broad range of strategies and approaches to engage, organize and build community.
Read our coverage of Engaging issues and ideas in the In The News section of this website.
Reflections on Community Organizing and Resident Engagement in the Rebuilding Communities Initiative
By Bill Traynor for The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Mar 20, 2002
In 1998, City Limits magazine covered the results of one of the first efforts to tackle community development at a comprehensive level, in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. The article gives interesting insight into the realization that resident engagement and leadership is a crucial element in a successful initiative.
LISC Experts Online: "Pitfalls and Promises of Community Engagement in Comprehensive Change"
One of the most challenging core concepts of the Comprehensive Community Initiative (CCI) is community engagement: efforts to involve community residents and neighborhood leaders in the planning, implementation and assessment of the work. This 2007 webcast highlights the best ways to sustain meaningful community involvement as initiatives unfold and explains how intermediaries who are one step removed from on-the-ground organizing can encourage effective community mobilization on the part of lead agencies, without being overly prescriptive. Webinar and materials
LISC Experts Online: "Making the Connections: Comprehensive Community Revitalization"
This 2005 webinar by Jim Capraro in Chicago works through the basic early strategies for achieving powerful results in the community, from building the organizational capacity to make the needed connections between people and institutions, to deepening relationships with the community and creating a process that mobilizes others for action. Webinar and materials
Ready to start a comprehensive community initiative? Consider these stages to create a robust… Continue
Indiana Association of Community and Economic Developers, the InstituteCCD, and Rural LISC convened… Continue
Planning Handbooks and Organizer's Manuals
Neighboring Toolkit: A Guide to Implementing… Continue
Click the title of the training material below to access the document.