The Community Innovation Network (Com-IN) is built on partnership with a broad array of community building experts, nonprofit organizations, researchers, and grassroots community organizers in our network. This page gives some information on our national partners, feel free to reach out to us directly about becoming a partner!

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute - Northwestern University


The Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute is the hub for a global movement which views local assets as the foundation for transformative, sustainable community development. Founded  by John McKnight and Jody Kretzman, ABCD Institute focuses on four types of community building: community capacity, participatory research, student engagement, and the development of publications and resources by practitioners. For ABCD faculty and practitioners, the most important asset of any community is the relationships between community members, which can be leveraged to meet needs. By connecting community assets to the larger macro-system in which the community exists, ABCD facilitates communities in driving their own development.

One of the primary practices of ABCD is asset mapping. Asset mapping engages community members to describe their community in terms of relationships and potential, notably asserting that no community or individual is without assets to contribute. ABCD can be, in many ways, viewed as a response to outside disinvestment and systems that see communities-- especially marginalized communities-- as recipients rather than contributors. 


Bridge to the Future (BTF) promotes revitalization and regeneration of communities in Israel’s periphery areas, working with both Jewish and Arab groups. Through capacity and peace building interventions, BTF facilitates what they call the “Three Way Partnership” of residents, council, and government. BTF focuses on four work principles: holistic programming, parallel top-down and bottom-up interventions, achieving stayability, and intensive, time-bound interventions.

A fundamental strategy for BTF is use of the GEAR tool, which stands for Governance, Economy, Activism, and Relationships. GEAR is a tool to assist decision-makers and community members in understanding complex change, and has been successfully used in the Israeli communities of Sderot, Beit Shean, Jizr a Zarqa, the Jordan Valley, and a variety of former Soviet Union communities. Using community strength to unlock community potential BTF works with communities to realize lasting transformation.


More information is available at

Bridge to the Future - See and seize community potential
Coady International Institute - St. Francis Xavier University - Igniting Leadership


The Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada is a learning organization dedicated to developing leaders who are committed to effective, collaborative community development. Built around the themes of strengthening economies, building resilient communities, promoting accountable democracies, encouraging the leadership of women, youth, and indigenous people, and asset-based community driven development, the Coady Institute works to reduce poverty and transform communities in the global south.

More information is available at