Principles of Community Building

on December 7 | in Community Engagement | by | with No Comments

Adapted from “Building Communities From the Inside Out” by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight

  • Community builders believe that every person has gifts.
  • Community builders assert every person’s right to dignity.
  • Relationships between individuals are the foundation of a strong
  • community.
  • Community members are always the center of community building.
  • Leaders involve others as active members of the community.
  • Community builders know that all people care about something.
  • Building community involves activating individual’s motivation to act.
  • Community builders engage in listening conversations.
  • If you have questions, do not hesitate to “Ask, ask, ask.”
  • Posing questions rather than giving answers invites stronger participation.
  • A community member-centered “Inside-out” organization is the key to
  • community engagement.
  • Institutions have reached their limits in problem solving.
  • Institutions should function as servants in the process of community
  • building, and not as the source of transformation.
  • All people can participate in creating and re-creating their communities.
  • Community development people and organizations should continually
  • learn how to enhance the collective capacity of people and communities.


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