Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD)

”What can we do with what we already have to get what we need?”

For more than 3 decades Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) has helped neighborhoods and communities all around the nation come together to capture opportunity and improve places where people live.

“To solve our social problems in our communities, the solution must be to build strong communities, not just stronger programs and services. We forget that people live in communities and that families, friends, neighbors and faith communities have always been the front line of how communities solve problems.” Paul Schmitz, CEO, Public Allies

Three characteristics of ABCD

  • Asset- Based: build on existing strengths, resources, shared interests – not gaps, problems, needs, liabilities
  • Locally Focused: emphasize priorities and projects of residents and organizations that reside there – not external agencies or isolated agendas
  • Relationship Driven: people work together to address what’s most important to them

Six characteristics of Effective Communities

  • People look inside first to solve problems
  • Relationships – working together – are seen as power
  • Have a good sense of assets and capacities, not just needs and problems
  • Have leaders who open doors
  • Citizens are involved
  • People take responsibility

Explore the ABCD approach to community engagement

ABCD Institute
ABCD in Action
Abundant Community
ABCD Toolkit