Membership (6)

Jan 16

CDS is a membership organization designed to serve Member needs and interests.

The CDS membership is a broad network of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who share an interest in building and developing communities—socially, economically, and environmentally. CDS Members represent a wide array of specializations: education, health care, social services, government, utilities, economic development, citizen groups, and more. Over eighty percent of CDS Members are located in the United States, with the remaining Members coming from nearly 32 different countries around the world. 

As a benefit of membership, CDS Members receive:

  • Discounted registration for programs:
    • Annual conference
    • Periodic webinars
  • Full access to the Society’s journals:
    • Community Development
    • Local Development & Society
  • Full access to previous conference proceedings and webinars
  • Useful updates and information via emails and the Vanguard newsletter
  • Active engagement in CDS committees and working groups
  • Opportunities for dialogue and deliberation on shared interests
    • CDS Forum website feature
    • CDS hosted online gatherings
  • Professional networking among Members
    • CDS Connect website feature

All CDS memberships are for a one-year term from registration and include electronic access to the CDS journals (Community Development and Local Development & Society).

CDS has several membership options designed to support community developers in a variety of situations. Most academics and active practitioners should join as Regular members. However, membership categories also exist to support students, retired professionals, households with multiple members, and institutions with multiple members.

Join CDS


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13 January 2017

Plans and Pricing

CDS is the preeminent network of leading researchers and practitioners in Community Development. Through CDS, I have had opportunities to work with and learn from the best!

Dan Kahl,
Associate Director, CEDIK

Welcome to the Membership Spotlight!

CDS is highlighting the work of its members to share information and get to know more about our members and their area of expertise. As survey responses become available from CDS Members, these will be 'spotlighted' in this section of the website and will become a part of the ongoing list to date.  

If you would like to complete the membership survey, click here:   

Click here for all 2009 Member Spotlight Profiles!

Connie Loden
Wisconsin Rapids, WI, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a member of CDS since 1994, I think.   I am president/CEO of the Heart of Wisconsin Business Alliance, which is a chamber of commerce and community economic development organization.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          My work in community development involves engaging the public to be involved in creating the future of their community - taking a systemic approach to involvement and understanding the community systems and culture at play and fostering innovation.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I belong for the professional development benefit I gain through my membership. The benefits that I receive are many -connection to practitioners and researchers, particularly international, allowing the exchange of ideas and best practices.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1 International members & friendships 2 Conferences –sharing with other practitioners and professionals in the field 3 Networks& professional exchanges of ideas -ability to be published in a professional development publication
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         It opened up international opportunities to share my expertise w/others. Allowed a professional platform for my work to be evaluated by my peers, and improved by suggestions and expertise. It has recognized my work w/Innovative Project Award
List your special interest and expertise.
·          I have passion for international community development work, fostering innovation & community leadership. Favorite book Synchronicity-The Inner Path to Leadership- Joseph Jaworski  Quote "You must be the change you want to see in the world" Gandhi  

Mark Brennan
State College , PA, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been an active member of CDS for 5 years, but indirectly involved with the Society for the last 15.  Since 2009 I have been a professor of leadership and community development at Penn State University.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          My work involves a mix of teaching and research in topics related to community capacity building, community theory, community power, small group/grassroots development, and community action.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I believe that CDS is the premier organization that brings together community development academics, policy makers, and practitioners.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1.  The diversity of our membership.    2.  The creative environment of our membership.  This contributes to a wonderfully creative and ego free environment.    3.  The clear integration of research, teaching, and outreach.  Activities
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         Being involved with CDS has allowed me to collaborate in a variety of areas including extensive interaction with our members, participation in our annual meetings, the honor of being part of our board of directors and editorial board.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Areas of Specialization: Community and Leadership Development, Research Methods, Social Change, International Comparative Studies, Natural Resource Sociology, and Rural Sociology.  Favorite Book:  Ken Wilkinson's The Community in Rural America

John Kuester
Elk River , MN, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a member since 1989.  I am a retired rural community developer.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          The favorite part of my work was going into small communities and assessing how they operate so that I would be better grounded in making appropriate suggestions as to how they could achieve their vision.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I joined initially at the suggestion of my boss who felt that CDS was a good fit with our rural development work.  I quickly found a strong network of folks who understood community development and who felt free to share their feedback and expertise.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1. The personal and professional network developed through CDS 2. The Endowment and the future sustainability it will provide the organization 3. The opportunity to explore Annual Conference venues
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         Up to the point I joined CDS and strange as it may seem, I did not know that the work I was doing was community development.  In the following years it helped a great deal to have a professional reference point to both describe and evaluate my work.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          I sincerely feel that the movie Babe has a great deal to say about effective ways to bridge between diverse agendas within a community.  

Chris Marko
Portland , Oregon, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a CDS member for five years.  I work for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation a non profit organization which helps rural communities acheive their visions and goals through training, technical assistance, and financial resources.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          I enjoy making a difference for communities regarding basic needs including drinking water and wastewater, affecting rural program and policy decisions through advocacy, and networking with a wide range of people in community development through CDS.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I belong to CDS because it is the most broad based organization involving a wide range of community development practitioners and education throughout the world.  CDS helps keep me engaged in cross section between education and community development.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         Diveresity of people Conference is fun! Connection to education
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         CDS has helped make networking regarding community development and rural policy valuable.  CDS contributes to my professional development, helps me work more effectively with communities, and enhances partnerships involved with community development.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Special interests include music, one of my favorite books is The End of Science  

Kristin Kauth
Kaukauna , Wisconsin, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         A member for 32 years. Joined when I began working as a Continuing Education Specialist in the Center for Urban Community Development, University of Wisconsin - Extension.      Retired. Involved in volunteer work with area non-profits.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          I was a community development/outreach educator/practioner in Milwaukee, WI for over 24 years with experience in academic, corporate, and non-profit settings. Hold a Masters Degree in Urban Education.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         The inclusiveness within CDS cannot be duplicated in any other organization. It is the place to be if you are serious about community development. Members have been my mentors, educators, colleagues and friends over the years.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         The Annual International Conference, enthusiasm of members, lasting friendships.  The mix of professional backgrounds, academics and practioners - what a learning experience!  The international and multi-discipline viewpoints.
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         I found a professional home that was there forme through 3 career changes. It brought me in contact with a group of people that provided encouragement, support and leadership opportunities that proved valuabe in my work and personal growth.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Book recommendation: Practicing Community Development by Donald W. Littrell and Doris P. Littrell; published by University of Missouri Extension; 2006.  Special Interest: Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes (national non-profit org.)


14 January 2009

Join CDS

Written by

Click here to join! 

Click here or on the image on the right to see the membership benefits presentation (PDF)

The membership year is July to June. If you join CDS by May 1, you will be eligible to vote in the current year. Membership benefits include:

  • Networking and professional development opportunities
  • Voting rights (for all categories except Libraries)
  • Quarterly issues of the COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Journal of the Community Development Society
  • Quarterly issues of the Vanguard newsletter posted to the website
  • Access to view the CD Practice Publication
  • Access to an online list of members
  • Access to online issues of past CDS Journals
  • Eligibility for CDS Awards (except Friend of CDS Award)
  • Reduced rate to the CDS Annual Conference
  • Opportunities to join the CDS listserv and issue or special interest groups, such as sections and clusters
  • * Opportunities to participate in CDS through the Board of Directors and numerous committees


Membership Upgrade Includes New Services, New Dues Options

Dear CDS Members:

The CDS is your professional organization, and we are dedicated to finding the most effective ways we can support you in CD practice, teaching, and research activities. In our membership survey last spring you suggested ways to improve CDS services and during the past six months, we have been implementing positive changes to expand services for CDS members.

  • Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, published quarterly since 2006, will offer five issues per year beginning in 2012. The Journal continues to enrich its content, with more articles in each issue, and it is now archived on-line, making it easier to search.  A book series on innovative practices in community development has been launched this year to help CD practitioners remain current with the literature.
  • A regular Webinar series offered by CDS, and often in partnership with other organizations, is drawing ever-increasing participation from members (who receive special membership savings) and non-members alike.
  • The expanded monthly Vanguard e-newsletter informs members of current happenings, and provides a direct link to related activities and valuable information sources.
  • The CD Practice Series is active again and will provide information about promising practices for use in the day-to-day activities of community development professionals.
  • The CDS Endowment, thanks to the efforts of the Roots and Wings Campaign, will provide three scholarships in 2011 for members and students to participate in our annual international conference. Continued growth in the Endowment will provide more scholarships and other benefits to our members in the coming years.
  • The 2010 and 2011 annual international conferences have been co-sponsored with sister organizations opening new professional opportunities and networks – both domestic and international – to CDS members. Our conference is in Boise, Idaho in 2011 and Cincinnati, Ohio in 2012.
  • Social networking by CDS is expanding, with access to Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other emerging venues, making it easier for our members to access and share information needed in their daily practices.

The value of your membership has increased and we recognize how important it is to justify costs in these difficult budget times. While expanding and updating services, the CDS Board also reduced organizational costs where possible. Cost-saving steps include finding lower-cost conference venues, renegotiating the administrative management and Journal publishing contracts, and taking fuller advantage of electronic rather than print communications for members and the public. The Board of Directors has assumed more personal responsibility for costs of attending meetings, conference calls, and related board activities.

CDS has not raised dues for the past four years but we have to adjust them for 2011 to cover the costs of expanded services. Discounts are offered to students, retirees, households, and now any member who chooses to receive electronic-only versions of the CDS Journal. The dues schedule for 2011 is shown below, and is also posted on the CDS web site ( The revised schedule provides members with a money-saving option to subscribe to the Journal on an on-line basis only or to continue to receive print copies. CDS dues are competitive with other professional associations and we provide more member benefits.

Maintaining CDS as a high quality and useful professional organization requires adapting to changing circumstances. As first and second generation members retire, CDS must be an organization that offers services relevant to the next generations of community developers, and one that offers up-to-date resources and support to the field of community development. We would like to hear your ideas about ways to enhance the Society and encourage your active involvement  – as a member, presenter, author, reviewer, committee member, or board officer – while we move forward into the next decade.

Best wishes,

Norman Walzer

Libraries may also join CDS and receive copies of the CDS journal. Interested?

Click here to join!