With Alumnae Grant, ABCD Institute Creates Community ‘Toolbox’

With Alumnae Grant, ABCD Institute Creates Community ‘Toolbox’

 A grant from the Alumnae of Northwestern University allowed the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) to create a “tool kit” for community groups. The web-based resource contains 17 tools that facilitate asset-based community development in neighborhoods around the United States and the world.

ABCD has a 20-year history of helping disadvantaged communities build on their own assets and improve the well being of residents using grassroots, locally driven techniques. To this end, ABCD has researched best practices in the community-building world and published 16 workbooks and other volumes designed to help communities understand and implement their own asset-based strategies for local community improvement.

“The workbooks that include tools for doing such work were so popular that an enormous demand was created, both for easy downloads and for new and more targeted tools,” says research associate professor Deborah Puntenney of the ABCD Institute. As a result, the Alumnae of Northwestern University funded an ABCD project to respond to the demand for additional resources by making tools available for download from the ABCD website. The project, entitled “Tools for Communities: Enhancing a Web-Based Resource for Neighborhoods,” was completed in December.

Tools now available on the ABCD website fall into three categories: talking point tools, asset mapping tools and facilitating tools. The tools include videos, charts, workbooks, exercises, games and slide shows. All are available for download at http://www.abcdinstitute.org/toolkit/

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) at the School of Education and Social Policy is central to a growing movement that considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. Building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future. John Kretzmann is director and co-founder of ABCD Institute.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 6/11/13