The Mission...

The Community Development Society furthers community work through teaching, practice, and research. CDS provides those who do community work with best practices, networking opportunities, tools, and other resources.

Welcome to the Community Development Society


Mark your calendar!

CDS 2014 Conference

July 20-23, 2014

Grand River Center

Dubuque, Iowa

 featuring keynote speaker

Chad Pregracke, CNN’s Hero of the Year

Chad Pregracke Photo

Pregracke organizes community cleanups across the country through his nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters.  About 70,000 volunteers have pitched in, helping Pregracke collect more than 7 million pounds of trash in the past 15 years.  Read more about how Chad is making a difference here.

See you in Dubuque!


CDS Call for Awards Nominations

Each year the Society has the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of its members and friends.  We encourage you to recognize the work of your colleagues in the field by submitting a nomination on their behalf. 

Awards presented by the Society include the:

Download a complete summary of the awards and nomination form here. Please direct questions to Awards & Recognition Committee Co-Chairs Katie Ellis and Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Nomination deadline has been extended to April 15, 2014.  Awards will be presented at the 2014 Community Development Society (CDS) Conference in Dubuque, IA in July.

Join a national conversation between community development professionals and practitioners.  Share your thoughts on Community Wealth.

Have you read the most recent CDS newsletter, the November Vanguard?  It profiles current CDS news, topical issues, and resources. You are welcome to submit items for publication to the editor, Cindy Banyai, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


 CDS Journal Available to Members Online

Just a reminder -- the CDS Journal is available online to view to members of the Society, whether you chose the printed or electronic version with your membership.

In order to access the Journal, you must login using your CDS username and password. The link to the Journal is available on the CDS members' only homepage. Once you have logged in, go to the USER MENU on the left of your screen; click on Welcome! which will bring you back to the CDS members only homepage. From there, you will see an option on the page towards the bottom:  Click here for members only access to the CDS Journal!  If you are interested in viewing archived issues, click on the option: Click here to directly view archived Journals.

Please contact the CDS Business Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you
need your username and password, or if you are having trouble accessing the Journal through the link provided.

Principles of Good Practice

We believe that adherence to the Community Development Society\'s Principles of Good Practice are essential to sound community development.

  • Promote active and representative participation toward enabling all community members to meaningfully influence the decisions that affect their lives.
  • Engage community members in learning about and understanding community issues, and the economic, social, environmental, political, psychological, and other impacts associated with alternative courses of action.
  • Incorporate the diverse interests and cultures of the community in the community development process; and disengage from support of any effort that is likely to adversely affect the disadvantaged members of a community.
  • Work actively to enhance the leadership capacity of community members, leaders, and groups within the community.
  • Be open to using the full range of action strategies to work toward the long-term sustainability and well being of the community.

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