Who We Are: We are a network of community builders committed to strengthening communities from the inside out by applying Asset-Based Community-Driven Development (ABCD) principles and practices.

Our Core Belief: We believe communities are strengthened when community members are united around a shared vision that emerges from the community (listening), exercise power and control over the development effort (leader development), use their gifts to work toward their shared vision (team building) , are supported by the institutions who share their vision and value their contributions (support raising) and share stories of commUNITY that emphasizes the unique strengths of thier community (storytelling.) 

Our Vision: To fuel the ABCD movement by supporting ABCD practitioners who have been trained in the Empowered Communities Framework and who are applying the five practices (listening, leader development, team building, support raising and storytelling) in their respective communities.

Members Benefits:

  1. Access to Network Training Opportunities: Members who coordinate learning cohorts can invite guest to attend Network Sponsored Trainings events free of charge. 
  2. Executive Coaching: Up to 12 coaching sessions with 1-3 key designated leaders within the organization per year. 
  3. Community of Practice: Connect with network members monthly for peer-to-peer support and sharing of successes and challenges around respective ABCD development efforts.
  4. Access to training materials for internal non-revenue generating training events. See Affiliate section for more information on training offered to outside organizations or as a revenue generating activity for members.
  5. Eligible to become an Affiliate of the Empowered Communities Network upon completion of certification requirements defined below.
  6. Information about national and international ABCD events, Communities of Practice and emerging best practices.

Membership Types:

  • Practitioners: Organizations who are taking a lead role in the implementation of the Empowered Communities Framework in one or more community context.
  • Affiliates*: Individuals or organizations who have satisfied the training requirements for certification and who are training and/or coaching others in ABCD using the Empowered Communities Framework. 
  • Champions: Individuals who were previously practitioners or who are supporting the implementation of the Empowered Communities Framework by a practitioner level member but who are not associated with a partnering organization.

Member Responsibilities:

  1. Commit to applying the Empowered Communities framework in your local context and to sharing successes and challenges with the network.
  2. Participate at least quarterly in the monthly community of practice meetings. Meetings will be 1.5 hours each.
  3. Commit to hosting a learning cohort at least once in a 24 month period.

Network Facilitation:

Embrace Communities will serve as the network facilitator for the international network with regional affiliates serving as network facilitators in thier respective areas. 

Membership Cost:

Members will pay an annual fee based on their organization, department or associations annual budget.

  • Under $20,000 = $100
  • $20,000 - $75,000 = $200
  • $75,000 - $150,000 = $500
  • $150,000-$500,000 = $1,000
  • $500,000 – 1 Million = $1,500
  • Over 1 Million = $2,000
  • Up to 4 Coaching Relationships = $5,000
  • Additional Coaching Relationships = $1,500 for 12 sessions
  • Individual Champions (not affiliated with a member organization & no coaching services) = $25

Certification Requirements*:

  • Certified Trainers: Individuals who have graduated, co-facilitated at least 2 full trainings and been the lead facilitator on at least 1 training.
  • Certified Coaches: Individuals who have implemented the Empowered Communities Framework in 2 or more communities and developed/sustained all five community building processes for at least two years with clear outcomes from all 5 processes.

* Access to curriculum limited to internal non-income generating use.

** Permission for use of curriculum for organizations outside the member organization and any revenue generating activities granted through additional Affiliate Agreement.

Membership Process:

  • Perspective members MUST successfully complete a Shift Training Series and have a plan for how they will apply the Empowered Communities Principles and Processes in their local context. 
  • Capacity at this time is limited to 12 Practitioner/Champion level members and 6 Affiliate level members. Membership capacity will grow as the number of certified coaches increases.
  • Those interested in joining the network should contact Wendy McCaig for more information about the application process.