See also our Community Resource Center.
Globally, there are many non-governmental organizations needing the help of volunteers. The U.N. and relief and development organizations can be found by asking those who are concerned with development and community. In America, volunteers and those who want to be change agents can find many organizations through which to work: Kiwanis, the Lions Club and other service organizations, the United Way, PTAs, Junior League, and churches. Also, state and local public health departments often run programs to build healthy communities.
Check the Five Promises and “Why We Are Here,” “Community Action,” and “Youth Action.
Center for Public Justice
A DC-based public policy and civic education organization that promotes "principled pluralism" - the encouragement of all faiths to flourish in the public square to bring justice to all. Coming from a reformed faith background, CPJ manages to avoid partisan politics and offer thoughtful reflection on cultivating justice for all (with a special focus on faith-based social service providers) in the public arena.
CCDA (Christian Community Development Association)
Large and small intentional communities and community organizations from all over America are brought together in this network for mutual vision and support.
City Cares of America
P.O. Box 27595, Washington, D.C. 20038, (202)887-0500 This rapidly growing non-profit organization puts busy, working people in direct-service, team volunteer projects with a variety of schedules and time commitments. Hands on Atlanta is an example. You can find this organization in Austin, Baltimore, Boston,
Communities in Schools
Tel: (703)519-8999 This organization brings the resources of a city into the education of promising inner city youth. It is not a grant-making organization but establishes schools within schools with mentors and resources.
One of the most comprehensive websites out there with tools to do community development work well.
CLIKS: County-City-Community Level Information on Kids
An initiative of the Annie E. Casey foundation, CLIKS allows users to access state-specific inventories of data from local sources, such as health departments, human services agencies, and schools. CLIKS is e a powerful new tool for community leaders, policymakers, service providers, parents and others who want to take a closer look at the local factors that affect the lives of children and families.
The Corporation for National and Community Service
1100 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20525 This organization, centerpiece of President Clinton’s national service program, has a mandate to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in community-based service. AmeriCorps is one of its programs. The corporation functions as a clearinghouse of information and technical expertise for service initiatives in the U.S. and as a service "venture capitalist," providing funding on a competitive basis for state and national programs.
Communities by Choice
A great, comprehensive resource on advancing the practice of sustainable development.
Emmanuel Gospel Center
“Dedicated to the vitality of urban churches and communities.” Check “Ministries and Staff” and “Urban Ministry Resources
A network of faith-based urban organizations—“sharing knowledge, strengthening connections, improving outcomes." Encourages successful planning, practices, and evaluation of programs.
Healthy Cities Resource List
Although a bit dated, this online resource of organizations and websites holds numerous valuable links to developing and sustaining healthy communities around the world.
KidsCount Data Book Online (2004)
10 key measures comprise an index of child well-being used to rank states and supplemental data on education, health, and economic conditions for each state. (Annie E. Casey Foundation)
KidsCount Census Data Online
KIDS COUNT has compiled indicators of child well-being released by the 2000 U.S. Census. View data on Age and Sex, Race, Hispanic Origin, Living Arrangements, Income and Poverty, Employment, Education, Language, and Disability Status.
Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Lost Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and many other cities.
Leadership Foundations of America
Coordinates Leadership Foundations in forty some U.S. cities dedicated to the spiritual and physical renewal of communities. President, Reid Carpenter.
National Community Education Association
National Youth Leadership Council
“… a movement linking youths, educators and communities to redefine the role of youths in society… engages students in meaningful service through their schools and communities.
Discusses the marks of the "New Monasticism" that is arising in the US and has links to forums and communities modeling these marks across the US.
Our Little Net
Community happenings in thousands of U.S.
Offers valuable community profiles for community research.
Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation
100 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, (412)281-3752 Many U.S. cities have Leadership Foundations which act as clearing houses and initiators of urban programs of many different varieties. These private organizations have helped many community initiatives get off the ground by bringing together resources to met key needs.
Points of Light Foundation
736 Jackson Place NW, Washingon, D.C. 20503, (202)408-5162 An independent, non-profit, organization mobilizing leaders from all sectors of society and helping them to motivate their members for community service. This is not a grant-making organization; rather it works through the media, businesses, government, non-profits. It has 400 volunteer centers and 66 corporate volunteer councils throughout the US.
Check out their information under “Knowledge” which you can find on left of screen. Dedicated to healthy kids in healthy communities. Note carefully their forty developmental assets that prevent youth at risk.
3605 Parry Ave., Dallas, TX (214)821-8318 Organizes resources for a several block target area within a city. Operating in several major US cities.
The Urban Institute
Much research, important information, and many links.
All kinds of information for U.S. and by states, many links.
Information about this organizations in US and world, many links.
Benson, P.L. (1997). All kids are our kids: What communities can do to raise caring and responsible children and adolescents. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. This book provides the rationale for a positive approach to communities and youthful problems called "Healthy Kids Healthy Communities." It is based on 40 assets needed for healthy youthful growth, assets that can be found or developed in any community.
Damon, W. (1997). The Youth Charter: How communities can work together to raise standards for all our children. New York: The Free Press. Based on the research and ideas and term coined by Francis Ianni, though he departs form some of Ianni’s principles. An important basis for discussion about community and how parents, educators, police, coaches, youth leaders, and young people themselves can set high standards and live by them. Models in Wellesley, MA and a few other places; not so well in some others.
Entwistle, B. (1992). Making Cities Work: How two people mobilized a community to meet its needs. Pasadena, CA: Hope Publishing House. This is simply a straightforward model of hope. One couple gave themselves to bringing the two Pasadena’s (South and Northwest) together. The effects of their efforts are still felt and growing.
Fifer, S. & Fiffer, S.S. (1994). 50 Ways to help your Community: A handbook for change. New York: Bantam Doubleday. Here are fifty models and practical ideas that are working and that you can contact described in sections: Individual and Community Initiatives, Student and School Initiatives, Corporate and Professional Initiatives, and Getting Involved.
Hirsch, K. (1998). A Home in the heart of a City: A woman’s search for community. New York: North Point Press of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. This is a friendly book beautifully describing two women’s quest for home and community. "A passionate plea for Americans to take a good look at what we have been and what we are." "...a powerful study of the agencies, individuals and emotions involved in the lives of the indigent." "An extraordinary book...For anyone who has ever looked at a homeless woman and wondered, How did she end up here?"
Holden, T. (1985). People, churches & multi-racial projects. London: The Methodist Church, Division of Social Responsibility. This handbook deals frankly with ethnicity, disadvantage and racism in the inner city. It provides models of black churches, multi-racial congregations, interfaith dialogue, and community centers. Besides the models presented, hard issues are faced, and recommendations made.
Ianni, F.A. (1989). The Search for Structure: A report on American youth today. New York: The Free Press. This extensive study of urban, rural and suburban youth found that where the messages given young people by the adults and systems around them were in conflict, they were at high risk. Its final chapter, "The Search for Structure and the Caring Community" calls for significant adult interaction with young people and the cooperation of young people in developing community standards or expectations.
Krestzmann, John P. and John L. McKnight. (1993) Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. ACTA Publications, 376pp.
Roseland, Mark. (1998) Toward Sustainable Communities: Resources for Citizens and their Governments. New Society Publishers, 240pp.
Schorr, L. with Schorr, D. (1989). Within our Reach: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage. New York: Doubleday. Her message about reviving the city is clear; it can be done! " ‘...more Americans must become convinced that we know what needs to be done and how to do it. That is why I wrote this book.’ " You will have to agree even if you have some reservations about the cost. William Safire said: " ‘A must-read book for political activists.’ " Robert Coles: " ‘A strong and compelling analysis of what has really worked...’ "
Shabecoff, A. & World Vision. (1992). Rebuilding our Communities: How churches can provide, support, and finance quality housing for low-income families. Monrovia, CA: World Vision. World Vision and the Community Information Exchange with advisors from Nueva Esperanza, the Appalachian Office of Justice and Peace, and the Jewish Fund for Justice collaborated in preparing this extremely practical and helpful manual. It is filled with models and resources.
Slater, T. (1984). The Temporary Community: Organized camping for urban society. Sutherland, Australia: Albatross Books. This book is included here because initiatives for community often fail because people do not know what community looks or feels like and do not have the skills to create community. Camping provides a phase of training needed by all urban activists and community builders.
Wallis, J. (1995). The Soul of Politics: Beyond "religious right" and "secular left". New York: Harcourt Brace. It was in 1971 that Jim Wallis and friends gave themselves to community which has since grown into the Sojourners Community. Its influence has been felt in its own Washington D.C. neighborhood and far beyond. Of this book, Desmond Tutu said: " ‘A tremendous and timely book...just what the doctor ordered for a hardened, cynical, disheartened and disillusioned world.’ "
Warren, R. (1955). Studying your Community. Free Press. Basic handbook on community research. So basic and the only one like it, too bad it’s so old and out of print.
Villafane, E. (1995). Seek the peace of the City: Reflections on urban ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. A prophetic voice for the city and for the church, whose destinies are closely linked—as many studies have shown. Here are hope and sound principles.
"Holding Ground: The Rebirth of DudleyStreet."
New Day Films, 22D Hollywood Ave., Hohokus, NJ 07423, (201)652-6590; Fax: (210)652-1973; Email: TMCHNDY@AOL.COM
. This is a "cautionary tale of urban policies gone wrong and a message of hope for all American cities. Through voices of committed residents, activists, and city officials, this one-hour documentary shows how a Boston neighborhood was able to create and carry out its own agenda for change." Standard price: $159; Discount for small, neighborhood based non-profit community organizations, $59. Rental: $50 (may be applied toward purchase within 60 days), $10. shipping and handling.
Dean Borgman cCYS