Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

Assessing Impact at Anchor Institutions

New anchor dashboard identifies 12 priority areas and indicators
Crossposted from Rooflines: The Shelterforce Blog

This week, The Democracy Collaborative is releasing a new paper to create a framework for measuring the effectiveness of university and hospital efforts to partner with and improve conditions in surrounding communities. Our goal is to help institutions reflect and assess broadly the long-term impact of their anchor-mission activities, and particularly the extent to which they may benefit low-income children, families and communities.

Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building

Year long program to advise and collaborate with Native communities

The Democracy Collaborative working in close collaboration with Jill Bamburg of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and Marjorie Kelley of the Tellus Institute, and supported by the Northwest Area Foundation is spearheading a year long intensive training and advisory program designed to help Native communities better engage in comprehensive community economic development.  The first session of the program, recently completed, brought together leaders from six Native organizations in Oakland, California, where they were able to engage with key experts from the thriving ecosystem of green and worker-owned companies in the Bay Area.  


Read more about Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building...

Democracy Collaborative Offers Paid Internship

Work with us on newsletters and

We are pleased to announce a new intern position at The Democracy Collaborative that will focus on the newsletter and adding web content. For further details, please see the position description below. Remember to submit your applications by August 30!

East Market Street Development Corporation

The East Market Street Development Corporation is focused on building community and restoring pride in the East Market Street Corridor and East Greensboro.  Its mission is to foster an economically vibrant, attractive, pedestrian-friendly, and safe community that supports existing and new businesses.  To do so, the organization provides comprehensive economic, business, and community development programs and services aimed to create and sustain community assets.

Community Organizing for a New Economy

Democracy Collaborative panel highlights transformative work of community-based organizations

Earlier this month at Left Forum, The Democracy Collaborative helped organize five panels on a variety of different topics related to cooperatives, sustainability and growing a new economy. The last session of the weekend, “Community Organizing for a New Economy,” offered a spirited conversation around some innovative new work that is helping build a new economy.

Valle Encantado

Valle Encantado is a community-based nonprofit organization in the historic Atrisco neighborhood in the South Valley of Albuquerque. Established in 2008 by community residents, Valle Encantado is committed to sustainable economic development done in harmony with the identity of the community. One of its main programs includes a weatherization program which has leveraged federal stimulus funds to update nearly 40 homes in Bernalillo County while connecting unemployed workers with good weatherization jobs. Other initiatives include a partnership with the USDA on a community agriculture and nutrition program to create a self-sustaining community farm whose salad greens will be sold to Albuquerque Public Schools and a community creativity and history program that records oral histories and organizes workshops.

Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership

The Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership works to revitalize Albuquerque’s older, and predominantly minority and low-income, neighborhoods by helping individuals and families build assets through home ownership. They do so by building new, quality, affordable homes that reflect the needs and desires of community residents. They also offer homeownership counseling and financial assistance to first time low income homeowners. One of their current development projects, Plaza Feliz, is a multi-family development on a previously developed infill site with rental and ownership options, a daycare center, and green features that have earned it a LEED Platinum certification.

Rio Grande Community Development Corporation

The Rio Grande Community Development Corporation (RGCDC) is a non-profit organization that pursues community-based economic development that is sensitive to traditional cultural values and historical land uses while cultivating resident voice and reducing poverty through entrepreneurial enterprise. In 1996, RGCDC worked with community residents to develop the Bridge and Isleta Boulevards Revitalization plan. As a result of the plan, RGCDC worked with the University of New Mexico and Bernalillo County to open the South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC) that has, since its establishment 2003, incubated over 100 businesses, created over 350 jobs, returned $8.2 million in payroll back to the local economy, and assisted over 250 potential entrepreneurs a year. One of SVEDC’s premier programs is the Mixing Bowl initiative that provides residents with the tools — from equipment, to financing, to training — to start their own food-related business. 

Done Right, Eliminating Food Deserts Result in Community Oases

Building community wealth every step of the way
Pogue’s Run Grocer Mural, an initiative of the Indy Food Co-op. © Indy Food Co-op
Building healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities requires more than “bottom up” solutions. The importance of community ownership to ensure that projects that start at the bottom result in lasting community wealth for the people involved is often missing from the discussion. The local foods movement provides examples that illustrate the importance of this ownership principle in practice.