Community Development Society
- Getting conferences scheduled for the next several years
- Nailing down contracts
- Working with the future local host committees to ensure that they are meeting their fund raising goals
- Removing barriers to conference success
- Working with committees to increase their viability and performance
- Increasing programming opportunities
- Building connections with other organizations
- Working with the Managing Director to ensure that the CDS is meeting all of its obligations
- Working with the membership committee to seek innovative ways to recruit new CDS members
- Working with the current local host committees to ensure that they are meeting their fund raising goals
- Working with the Managing Director and conference hotel to prepare for the conference
- Preparing for hosting the mid-year board meeting
- Issuing the call for papers early enough for international visitors to come
- Preparing the conference program with the program committee
- Scheduling the night out and MLWs
- Ensuring the sufficient funds are available through sponsorships and contracts to support the conference
- Addressing all conference concerns
- Running the conference
- Fund raising for the Society
- Building bridges with additional groups
- Identifying innovative collaborations
- Recruiting members
- Increasing the sustainability of the organization in all facets
- Oversee the VPO and VPP to make sure that they are achieving their mandates
- Addressing all other concerns
The Community Development Society (CDS) Board recently approved changes to the organization’s bylaws in February 2018. The major change involved eliminating two elected officer positions (Vice President for Operations and Vice President for Programs) and replacing them with two other positions (Vice President and Past President). The reason for this change was to more efficiently and effectively manage the organization. Besides holding the annual conference, the organization also provides three publications, maintains an active website, and hosts the Fellows program. Enhancing the role of the Past-president will provide additional institutional memory and continuity. You can find the the proposed changes by going to:
Before implementing these changes, the Board would like to receive comments and input from the CDS membership. There will be two comment opportunities. First, the changes have been posted on CDS Connect under “General Topics” Just log into the member side of the website, click on CDS Connect and then on General Topics. The bylaw changes should be near the top. Please look over the changes and let us know what you think by sharing your perspective on CDS Connect or by simply sending a note with your input to any of the board members (https://www.comm-dev.org/about/board-of-directors). In addition, there will be a session at the annual conference in Detroit, July 22-25. As community developers, we believe stakeholder participation is very important. We look forward to your thoughts online and/or at the conference.
We are rocking and rolling preparing for our annual conference coming up in Detroit July 21-25. I am excited to share with you that our night out event will be held at the Detroit Historical Musem, an amazing venue! We also have secured some wonderful musical acts to demonstrate the arts and local talents in our host city, including the very special Daybreaker Rave and Fitness event featuring the Godmother of House Music, DJ Hotwaxx Stacey Hale. Early bird registration ends June 15, so get those registrations in!
Your leadership has also been working on the elections and planning for the transition of new directors and officers. Be sure to join us at the Business Meeting luncheon on Tuesday, July 24 for their installation.
In order to continue to improve our organization, a committee was formed to review our current bylaws. The group is working on a document to share and crafting interactive discussions at the conference to get your input and feedback and proposed changes. We hope you can get involved!
Thanks again to all our wonderful members for the work you do in our communities! I look forward to seeing you in Detroit!
The recent publication of the International Association of Community Development's (IACD) "Towards Shared International Standards for Community Development Practice" (Standards) is a monumental step forward to continue to define and refine community development around the world. Building off the definition of community development that was developed by the members and accepted by the Board of IACD and CDS, the Standards are an important piece, articulating the boundaries of our field. IACD and CDS members were invited to comment on the Standards as they were being developed, so many perspectives are represented. An important next step that CDS can take from here is to build off the Standards to describe jobs and roles that take on responsibility in community development, particularly from the context of CDS being an international organization based in the United States of Amerca. I encourage our membership to participate in discussions such as this through our own CDS Connect and through our partners at IACD.
Definition of community development - “Community development is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, economic opportunity, equality and social justice, through the organisation, education and empowerment of people within their communities, whether these be of locality, identity or interest, in urban and rural settings”.
Here is a link to the Standards.
Attention Current CDS Members!
Please check your email for information about the 2018 CDS Elections! Voting for the 2018 CDS Elections for positions on the CDS Board of Directors closes on Friday, June 8 at 5:00pm (ESD). Your participation and engagement in this voting process is truly valued and appreciated.
Questions about the process or didn't receive your election ballot? - please contact the CDS Secretary for more information.
Thank you for your involvement in making a difference in CDS!
I read recently that flight instructors tell student pilots to “just fly the plane” when problems arise in the sky. They do this to remind the pilot to not become so distracted by problems that they crash the plane. I’m writing this President’s Update as your new pilot working to ensure our CDS plane does not crash. Although we have been through some turbulence, we are back to flying this plane together – our conference is on track, our leadership is strengthening, and our management is streamlining. Your Directors and Officers have re-committed themselves to working for the members, actively designing more and better processes for engagement. Here we go together!
We have launched the registration for our 49th annual international conference in Detroit (#CommDev18) with the help and support of our Conference Planning Committee, Local Host Committee, and dedicated staff and vendors. The conference includes an engaging line up of keynote speakers highlighting community development in Detroit, mobile learning workshops that will take us to see activities around the city, and an array of interactive and informative presentations. Details are being finalized, so keep an eye out for updates!
The Conference Planning Committee, with the support of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the past presidents, is taking on the responsibility of stewarding our 2018 conference to success in lieu of appointing a Vice President of Programs. I will also continue to serve as conference chair to coordinate these collaborative efforts.
The Board has appointed Jane Leonard to serve as Vice President of Operations. She has accepted the appointment and is currently working with the Executive Committee and Board to ensure we have a conference location for 2020. She brings not only her professional experience as a “prac-ademic” to the role, but the experience of having been part of the CDS leadership in the past. She will no doubt add a bridging dimension to discussions on the advancement of our organization. I really appreciate Jane’s willingness to step up for our organization in a time of need.
Elections for new CDS leadership are coming up shortly. Please be on the lookout for the email containing your ballot information and vote for the candidates that you know can help lead our organization though our 50th year and beyond!
The Board has also been exploring ways to update our guiding documents, including our bylaws and our Policies and Operations Guidelines (POG). Although some work has been done in this respect, the Board wanted to ensure that proper member engagement was part of this updating process, so a committee has been formed to design a process around updating our organizing documents. This will include interactive sessions to gather member input during the 2018 conference, a clear transition plan for any structural changes, and transparency and communication in relation to proposed changes. We look forward to including you in the process of updating and improving the functioning of our organization.
I am appreciative of the work of our new Managing Director, Justin Fallon-Dollard. He jumped right in supporting the conference proposal submissions, registration, and logistics, as well as processing memberships, working with our finances, and looking for ways to streamline and improve our administrative processes. Management transitions are not a simple undertaking and I want to acknowledge the commitment Justin has made to support CDS through all our recent transitions. The Executive Committee and the Board will continue to work with Justin to ensure that all the operations of our organization are running smoothly and improving moving forward.
This has been a challenging time for CDS and for me personally. I look at what has happened recently, and I can hardly believe what we have been through. I do know we learn from mistakes and we become stronger through challenge. The committed remain to drive us forward together. I am proud to be a part of CDS, where we have been and where we are going. It is an honor to serve our members and our field. Although I can’t promise to never make mistakes, I can promise to always work for the best interest of our organization and its members. This is as true today as it’s always been. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve. Let me know how I can better serve – I’m listening.
For those involved in community development, we know that community engagement is the heart of change. We assist groups to organize to respond to shared issues. Engagement is how people connect and act together. Sometimes these interactions can lead to shared agreement, unified investment, and sustained commitment to a solution. Sometimes the interactions can be selfish, dysfunctional, divisive, and lead to distrust and resentment. How the interactions are structured can have significant impact on the outcomes of the situation.
The Socio-ecological model of health (Bronfenbrenner, 1977) recognizes that individual health is affected not only by individual knowledge and actions, but also by the people we are surrounded with, and the habits, norms, culture, and patterns of interaction that support behavior (healthy or unhealthy). These lifestyles are, in turn, affected by the organizational and community policies, systems, and physical environments in which people live.
This isn’t just an observation. The implications are not only that we live in a place with other people. How we live in community also seems to matter. How we connect with others can have very significant implications. It can change our lives. In research on health and happiness, Robert Waldenger (November 2015 Ted Talk) notes a 75-year longevity study indicated that social networks are a key influencing factor contributing to wellbeing. In a positive correlation, more social connection and support relate to increased health and happiness. Susan Pinker (April 2017 Ted Talk) emphasizes that social integration and close relationships are the top factors contributing to living longer.
The wonderful thing about this information from the perspective of a community development practitioner, is that we can facilitate the development of these healthy interactions. In a recent CDS Fellows meeting Mary Emery summarized, “Community is centered around a sense of belonging. Belonging is being part of a structure. We can control structure.”
Designing structure for meaningful engagement is the core of what a community development practitioner does. Whether the focus is on addressing hunger, housing, poverty, business development, or a new community swimming pool, the framework of involvement can invite participation, involve people meaningfully, and support engagement. Is it important? The stakes of meaningful community engagement can impact our health, how long we live, and happiness. I would say that’s pretty important.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American psychologist, 32(7), 513.
Pinker, Susan (2017). The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life. Ted Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_pinker_the_secret_to_living_longer_may_be_your_social_life
Waldenger, Robert. (2015) What Makes a Good Life; Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness. Ted Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_waldinger_what_makes_a_good_life_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_happiness
*Daniel Kahl is an Assistant Professor of community and leadership development at the University of Kentucky and Associate Director of CEDIK. He co-coordinates the 2017 Community Development Society Fellows project with Dr. Kris Hains.
Great news! The deadline for CDS scholarships in 2018 has been extended to May 29, 2018 at 12:00pm CDT, with up to $8,000 in travel and support funds available. Please go to https://www.comm-dev.org/about/scholarships to apply today, and pass the word along to interested faculty, practitioners, and students!
By Norm Walzer
Stagnant economies and population declines combined with an aging population including retiring business owners has seriously affected the ability of many rural areas to retain access to vital enterprises such as grocery stores, restaurants, and social services that affect social capital and the quality of life. In response, community leaders have organized groups of residents to pool their funds and invest in businesses they consider adding to essential to quality of life. These enterprises become self-supporting with residents donating time and efforts into related management activities. Community Supported Enterprises (CSEs) have a social purpose and add to social capital but operate with a business model intended to be self-sustaining without continued financial contributions by local investors.
While some successful CSEs have been documented and studied already (http://cgs.niu.edu/Reports/Emergence-and-Growth-of-Community-Supported-Enterprises.pdf), more information about their motivations, purposes, and keys to success in both rural and urban neighborhoods is needed to systematically analyze their full potential. Especially important is to understand their applicability in other domestic and international locations. Key is to understand types of investors, desired outcomes, organizational structures, and successful management practices under different environments and social systems.
To obtain a more complete picture of how CSEs developed, operate, and were effective in helping improve the potential of communities, Norman Walzer is organizing an edited research volume on these issues. Contributions should include analyses of important factors, rather than only describe case studies with limited ability to determine ways to generalize or apply successful experiences in other areas. The main topics of interest include (but not limited):
a. conditions in which CSEs were organized;
b. organization patterns, e.g. nonprofits, cooperatives, for profits;
c. groups that have been involved in these enterprises;
d. state and local assistance or direction for CSE efforts;
e. reasons for successes and best practices; and
f. implications for use of CSEs in other places.
The chapters (not more than 30 double-space pages inclusive) will be refereed prior to acceptance. Authors interested in contributing chapters to this research volume should send an abstract (not more than 500 words) preferably before July 1, 2018 to:
Senior Research Scholar
NIU Center for Governmental Studies
148 N. Third Street
DeKalb, IL 60115
Interested in networking with our CDS members and community development practitioners? Looking for a while to strengthen your professional portfolio and apply your creativity through marketing and communications?
Consider applying for the CDS Vanguard Editor position!
The CDS Vanguard is a monthly publication distributed to CDS members and nonmembers, including updates from the Board of Directors, organizational announcements, external resources for educators and practitioners, potential funding sources, and more! In this 10-hour/month position, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with CDS leadership and the CDS Communications Committee, exercise your creativity in marketing and communication strategies, and enhance our presence among community development practitioners worldwide!
Dear CDS Members,
Early this spring, two Board of Directors positions unexpectedly became open due to the resignations of both Dr. Bryan Hains (former President) and Dr. Craig Talmage (former Vice President of Operations). We thank them for their service.
Following policy and procedure, Dr. Cindy Banyai, former Vice President of Programs, is now serving as President. We thank Dr. Banyai for her willingness to immediately take on this new role.
We want to reassure the members that the Board is continuing to meet regularly and its committees are functioning as usual, and the conference is on track to be a success this July in Detroit. As we find ourselves amidst this transition, we embrace what the season of springs brings to us -- rebirth, regeneration and renewal -- and in this spirit -- we explore new possibilities together.
We look forward to seeing you in Detroit! We see this conference as a collaborative opportunity to welcome your ideas, share insights and collectively move forward on a new path seeped in tradition and rich with new potential. We also have much to plan in celebration of our society's upcoming 50th year anniversary! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We welcome your input.
CDS Board of Directors
Dr. Hains and Dr. Talmage have resigned their positions on the executive committee, effective immediately, in order to fulfill other professional obligations.
The Community Development Society is seeking nominations to fill three Board of Directors positions. These positions are for a three-year term that will begin at the close of our Annual International Conference to be held July 21-25 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Active participation on the CDS Board of Directors is a way to engage more fully with the work of the organization while enhancing your own personal network of connections within the Community Development field.
Board members devote considerable volunteer time and resources to the position and are expected to join monthly teleconference Board meetings. Members also attend the annual conference and mid-year meeting generally held for two days at the site of the pending annual conference. Board members also take leadership of one subcommittee on topics that range from awards, conference site selection, international CDS, nominations, membership and marketing, finance, and communications/publications. There is no financial support, other than that the Board has budgeted a modest amount to offer partial support in the event that a board member is not able to afford the cost of travel.
Important note about the 2018 nominations and election process: In January, the Board of Directors released a proposed draft of new bylaws for the Society and sought feedback from the membership. After considering the feedback received, the Board of Directors adopted the new bylaws, which can be accessed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kZb39tmG1fQ450MD8l1ZmWoEc76qgZ_OMrUGrvf1atk/edit?usp=sharing. One significant change as a result of the new bylaws affects the officers of the Society. Under the new bylaws, the Vice President shall be elected to serve a three-year term automatically transitioning to President and then Past-President. In 2017, Dr. Craig Talmage was elected as the Vice President for Operations; under the previous bylaws, this position automatically transitioned to Vice President of Programs and then to President. Upon adopting the new bylaws, the Board of Directors also voted to omit seeking nominations for a Vice President in the 2018 election and to keep Dr. Talmage as the Vice President for 2018-2019 with an automatic transition to President for 2019-2020.
To prepare the ballot, please consider self-nominating for the Board of Directors using this online form: https://goo.gl/forms/3U7f6FhC524NM5wI3. Nominations must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Friday, April 13, 2018. All members in good standing are eligible to serve on the Board; to check the status of your membership, log in to your user account at www.comm-dev.org.
After April 13th, we will conduct our general election. On behalf of the current CDS Board of Directors, thank you for your willingness to serve our association and the communities we represent. If you have any questions regarding the nominations and elections process, please contact CDS President Bryan Hains, CDS Secretary Caitlin Bletscher, or Nominations and Leadership Committee member Theresa Gonzales.
Community Development Towards 2030: Our Analysis, Our Actions
Join the IACD's 65th anniversary conference celebrating community development from around the world!
The World Community Development Conference (WCDC) 2018 will be held at Maynooth University, in partnership with the IACD and Community Work Ireland, in Kildare, Ireland on June 24-27. This conference will provide a unique opportunity for practitioners, participants, academics, policy makers, funders, and other stakeholders to share perspectives on current contexts and challenges for community work.
With over 200 workshop speakers, join our community development colleagues, practitioners, and educators from around the globe in a collaborative discussion on participation, power, and progress! Register now to join the conversation about the future of community development!
Come join the global conversation of community development!
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The Community Change Network is a team of committed community development professionals pursuing the study and documentation of sustained community change. With the support of CDS Institutional Capacity grant funding, and working with the CDS Fellows project in 2017-18, the Community Change Network (CCN) is spearheading an initiative to convene Foundations that share a mission for community well-being.
This initiative recognizes that the Community Development Society, CCN and foundations each bring diverse perspectives and resources, and all share the common goal of supporting effective, inclusive, sustainable community change. The CCN recognizes the potential benefits of more collaborative work and is taking action to explore the potential of formalizing and strengthening the relationship between the interest groups. CCN leaders are hoping to reach out to representatives from several foundation including Thrivent, Blandin, Bush, Northwest Area, Annie E. Casey, Ford, Ford Family, Kellogg, Mott, Kauffman, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, USDA Rural Development and the Minnesota Initiative Funds. The group is planning to host a meeting in the spring of 2018 to hear what foundations are interested in for future funding opportunities, what they would like to know more about to support rural programming, and what measurement or impact data they are seeking for funding decision-making.
CNN project leaders Milan Wall, Sharon Gulick, Connie Loden, and Mary Emery are seeking feedback from CDS members on the CDS Connect discussion page (www.comm-dev.org/networking/cds-connect) including what questions you would like to have asked - share what foundations you would like to hear from - and what are your ideas on how CDS can form more effective partnerships with Foundations that support community health, development, and well-being.
This month’s Presidential update will be short and sweet - yet will carry an important message. I personally want to thank every Community Development Society member for their continued commitment to our organization. Your professional dedication, diverse perspectives and general friendliness have made CDS an amazing organization and one that I am proud to be a part of. You continually strive to enhance not only our profession but our individual professional and personal lives as well. Many of you work tirelessly behind the scenes to make CDS run like a well-oiled machine, and you do so humbly and with little recognition. Please know that this does not go unnoticed, I personally want to take a moment to recognize your past, present and future efforts and let you know that you are truly appreciated. As always, please let me know if there is anything the leadership team can do to make you feel as appreciated as you truly are.
With humble thanks,
The Community Development Society (CDS) is soliciting proposals from Certified Public Accountant firms to provide audit and tax services for our fiscal year ending December 31, 2017, with the option to renew for each of the following two odd numbered fiscal years (2019 and 2021). This request for proposal contains background information on CDS and specific information that must be included in the proposals submitted. The proposals must be submitted via email by no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, March 16th, 2018, directly to our business office at the following email address:
Community Development Society
Attn: Justin Fallon Dollard, Managing Director
The RFP announcement with proposal requirements information is available here: