The Most Important Idea In Community Development
Speaking this week to community managers in Israel, one idea struck a chord; asset-based community development.
It’s the most important concept in community organizing you probably haven’t heard of.
ABCD is when a community organizer (builder, manager) stops treating communities as a group with a collective problem to solve and starts treating the community as a group with countless opportunities for growth.
It’s the belief that every single person who walks through the door of your event, who joins your community, or engages with you in some way has something they can offer the group.
It’s the belief that every single person has unique skills, knowledge, experiences and more that they can contribute to the collective benefit of the group.
Your community today has people with backgrounds in design, law, technology, marketing, sales, customer service.
Your community has people who have spare rooms, a car they’re not using, books they don’t read repeatedly, clothes, food and more.
Your community has people who know people. People that need to fill jobs, can give medical advice, or have traveled to wonderful places.
In short, your community has people who can design things, translate things, lend items, provide expertise and be more engaged if you can make the connections and make them feel special about doing it.
Someone asked in the Tel Aviv session, ‘What’s the secret to keeping members actively engaged?’.
ABCD is the answer.