Policy Guide

Welcome to C-W.org's Guide to Selected Federal Community Wealth Building Policies!

As part of our broader effort to encourage democratic community wealth building work, Community-Wealth.org has assembled this brief Federal Policy Guide to bring together a range of practitioner-oriented materials that cut across different community wealth building sectors. We hope these materials encourage greater use and experimentation of different community wealth building tools in a more coordinated fashion. Through this Policy Guide we also aim to facilitate further conversation, connection, and collaboration among those now working as community wealth builders.

For a broader look at our take on community wealth building policy, see also:

Gar Alperovitz, Steve Dubb and Ted Howard, Rebuilding America's Communities: A Comprehensive Community Wealth Building Federal Policy Proposal, College Park, MD: The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, April 2010.
report-alperovitz-et-al.pdf (1MB)

A one-page summary of this work appeared recently in the Cooperative Business Journal, a publication of the National Cooperative Business Association.
article-alperovitz-dubb.pdf (1MB)

Please check back as we update our website quarterly for new additions to this section. We hope to continually develop this Policy Guide and welcome your input on how to make this Guide a useful resource.


How to Make This Policy Guide Work For You

The materials in this section include brief descriptions of a range of community development policy, organized by theme (e.g., community development corporations, cooperatives, individual wealth building, etc.). For practitioners, we believe this is a better way to organize policies than by federal government department or agency.

That said, we should note that most community development strategies involve a mix of tools. New Markets Tax Credits, for instance, are certainly managed by the CDFI Fund and many CDFIs receive New Markets allocations, but New Market equity has been used for various purposes, including projects led by community development corporations, cooperatives, and community land trusts.

Each section includes a brief description of the policy's purpose and how it can be used, along with links to more detailed resources made available by trade associations and government agencies. In other words, this guide is meant to be a portal to get an overview for more detailed policy exploration.

An overview of the policies listed in this Guide is available on the right of the screen:


Community Development Corporations (CDCs) & Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Cooperative (Co-op) and Employee Stock Ownership Plan companies (ESOPs)

Green Collar Jobs

Individual Wealth Building

Social Enterprise

University Partnerships