United Way of North Central Ohio hosted Clear Impact’s Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) training for our Community Partners and other interested local non-profits. The free training webinar was held via Zoom on Thursday, December 10; nearly 50 UWNCO staff members and partner representatives attended.

Led by Dan Duncan from Clear Impact, the program presented ABCD’s place-based framework for building strong, safe and healthy neighborhoods by focusing on the gifts of the residents in the community. Small group sessions challenged attendees to give the populations they serve the tools and authority to help drive their own change. It was an energetic and engaging morning of discussion, and our staff and partners left inspired and ready to bring new thinking to our community work in the new year.

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is a place-based framework that can help build strong, safe, and healthy neighborhoods and communities. By bringing the community together and focusing on the gifts within, ABCD helps residents, associations, nonprofits, government, and the business community, to act collectively as co-producers of their community’s well-being.

The Foundational Truths of ABCD

1. Everyone has gifts

2. Everyone has something to contribute

3. Everyone cares about something and that passion is his or her motivation to act

The Power of ABCD

Asset-Based Community Development was pioneered by John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann of the ABCD Institute at DePaul University (formally at Northwestern University). Its foundation rests on a few simple truths: 1) everyone has gifts, 2) everyone has something to contribute , and 3) everyone cares about something and that passion is his or her motivation to act.

Strong, safe, and healthy neighbor hoods and communities are built on the strengths and capacities of their residents and associations that call the community home. We cannot build strong caring neighborhoods without unlocking the potential of residents.

The traditional approach to community development is focused on providing services to address the community’s and its residents’ needs and deficits. The ABCD approach starts with discovering the assets and gifts already present in the community. This is followed by asking residents to share their gifts and connect­ing people with the same passions to act collectively and provide care.

The most successful community efforts include resident engagement and action (no-cost/low-cost solutions) working together with existing institutions and programs.  We cannot achieve the results required without the strong engagement of the resources and efforts of residents as well as the work of institutions. To be truly effective, residents must join the effort as co-producers/ co-creators of their own and their community’s well-being.

*Source: Clear Impact