Tools & Resources

Community Development

Institutes and Learning Centres

Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS

The Institute was named after Rev. Dr. Moses Coady, the founder of the Antigonish Movement.  The Institute is focused on providing skills to global leaders in applying citizen-led, asset-based and community driven leadership for economic and social change.

ABCD Institute at De Paul University in Chicago, IL

Co-founded by Kretzmann and McNight, pioneers in the field of ABCD

Tamarack Institute in Waterloo ON

Founded in 2001 by Alan Broadbent and Paul Born, Tamarack Institute’s goal is to deeply understand how community change can happen and help organizations and citizens work better together for a collective impact.

Nurture Development in Dublin, Ireland

Lead European partner of the ABCD Institute a number of learning sites located throughout the UK

Harwood Institute in Bethesda, MD

The Institute aims to equip people, organizations, communities and networks with the tools to bridge divides, build capacity, and tackle shared challenges through a philosophy called Turning Outward.


Community Foundations & ABCD Departments

Nebraska Community Foundation in Lincoln, NE

NCF was established in 1994 with the belief that people can build the communities of their dreams with the right tools and resources.  The Foundation has helped numerous communities throughout the state establish affiliated funds which are led by citizens.

Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE) in Edmonton, AB

The City of Edmonton has taken a unique approach to supporting the development of neighbourhoods and building stronger communities.

Seattle Department of Neighbourhoods in Seattle, WA

In a unique approach to community development, the City of Seattle has had a Department of Neighbourhoods for over 30 years, providing support to community groups and improving quality of life. Examples of successful programs include their Neighbourhood Matching Fund and P-patch Gardening.

Shorefast Foundation on Fogo Island, NL

The Shorefast Foundation believes that community is the unit of change to create economic resilience, both locally and on a global scale.  Shorefast has created a unique Economic Nutrition label so that consumers can understand how their purchases impact the economic health of communities.


Other Resources and ABCD Examples

Abundant Community

Resources related to the book written by John McKnight and Peter Block, including articles, conversations and other resources.

Bank of Ideas

An International Community and Economic Development consultancy based in Kalamunda, Western Australia.  Founded by Peter Kenyon, the team is motivated by the desire to create caring, healthy, inclusive, sustainable and enterprising communities and local economies and has worked with over 2000 communities to date.

Dudley Street Neighbourhood Initiative in Roxbury, MA

An organization focused on creating, empowering and uniting leaders to champion community causes in two neighbourhoods of Boston, MA.  DSNI dates back over 35 years and has led initiatives such as the establishment of a community land trust that protects over 30 acres of community-controlled land in Boston.

ABCD Canada

This resource site is part of Tamarack Institute Deepening Community Practice Area.  This site houses a number of ABCD resources with a Canadian context.

Catalyst’s Circle in Toronto, ON

Features resources and information connecting community builders and sharing knowledge across sectors.

Center for Public Design (CPID) at Portland State University, OR

CPID is a research action centre at Portland State University which has been involved in a number of ABCD projects, particularly related to housing development and design.

Town of Oamaru, New Zealand

This town of just under 14,000 started on an economic development path in mid-80’s due to a drought and record unemployment.  The town focused on history and culture and restored the town’s original business district of 19th century buildings as the “Victorian Precinct.”  All buildings now have tenants with creative enterprises and there are cultural and arts events throughout the year.

Parks Trust, Milton Keynes, UK

This community-based trust has taken over care of the community’s largest green spaces, over 6,000 acres of parkland/green space, from the Milton Keynes Development Corporation with a 999 lease and endowment fund.  The Trust has a responsibility to respond to changing circumstances of different generations and civic and national priorities and to help the city develop and grow.


Video Links

TEDTalk by Cormac Russell, Nurture Development

Cormac talks about sustainable community development and moving from looking at what’s wrong to considering what’s strong.

ABCD In A Nutshell

A brief overview of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) by herding together.

Jim: An ABCD Story

A short video by Herding Together explaining the concept of Asset Based Community Development in action.

Overview of Asset Based Community Development

An introduction to ABCD and its origins.

We Belong and Asset Based Community Development

An example of how Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE) applied and ABCD Approach to focus on youth engagement.

TED Talk by Liz Hannum – Sharing Knowledge and Donuts – Community Asset Mapping

Through examples from her work internationally, Liz Hannum talks about what a community map is and how it can be beneficial to your own work in community development.