Asset-Based Community Development Resources

Asset-based community development involves facilitating people, neighborhoods, and communities to come together to achieve positive change using their own knowledge, skills, and lived experience of the issues they encounter in their own lives. Compare this to deficit-based approaches, which begin by focusing on a community's needs, deficiencies, and problems. Asset-based thinking is a powerful tool for mobilizing social change: it assumes that everyone is needed and that we all have something to offer our community. 

John McKnight, co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and Professor Emeritus of Education and Social Policy at the Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research, served as the keynote speaker at the Foundation's 2015 Community Luncheon on May 6.  A crowd of over 1,100 community members heard McKnight's keynote, which covered asset-based approaches and the importance of returning to a village-based approach as we seek to positively impact the crucial development of our youth. 

Click here to watch McKnight's keynote address, including an introduction by Paula McCoy, executive director of Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods.

Additional Resources on Asset-Based Community Development

An Introduction to Asset-Based Community Development

The Power of Asset-based Approaches

John McKnight's Principles for Inclusion

Exemplary Materials For Designing a Community Building Initiative in a Neighborhood

The Educating Neighborhood: How Villages Raise Their Children

Discovering Community Power: A Guide to Mobilizing Local Assets and your Organization's Capacity

The Asset-Based Community Development Tool Kit

Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods

For additional information, please visit the Asset-Based Community Development Institute's Web site at


Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods 

Founded in 1991, the goal of Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods (NBN) is to develop collaborative, sustainable communities that improve the quality of life of residents in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. NBN uses asset-based approaches by connecting people, strengthening voices, and leveraging resources with communities to create safe, just, and self-determined neighborhoods. 

Click here to learn more about Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods.


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