Asset-based community development (ABCD) is a model for community change that is focused on leveraging the existing strengths of a neighborhood instead of focusing on its deficiencies.

The ABCD model is based on the premise that distressed neighborhoods have significant resources within them in the form of individuals, associations, and institutions. ABCD focuses on empowering residents to make change in their own communities by leveraging these assets.

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University has assembled a series of resources for people interested in using the ABCD model in their community. The toolkit is broken down into three sections:

ABCD Talking Point Tools: A series of resources that explain the asset-based community development model and illustrate the potential impact of its use.

Asset-Mapping Tools: Asset maps – or inventories of a community’s existing resources – are a key component of the ABCD approach. These tools illustrate how stakeholders can document their own community’s assets.

Facilitating Tools: Resources for stakeholders that are working to facilitate community-building exercises, with a particular focus on the roles institutions should and should not play in this process.