Who We Are: We are a network of community cultivators 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.

Membership Types:

  • Champions: Individuals who are not currently practicing ABCD but who are supporting other practitioners. 
  • 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 are training and/or coaching ABCD Practitioners using the Empowered Communities Framework. 

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 (Practitioners & Affiliates Only): Up to 12 coaching sessions with 1-3 key designated leaders within the organization per year. 
  3. Community of Practice: Connect with network members 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. 
  5. Information about national and international ABCD events, Communities of Practice and emerging best practices.

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 an Embrace sponsored community of practice. 
  3. Commit to hosting a learning cohort at least once every 2 years. 

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*:  

Members who are seeking to utilize the Empowered Communities Framework in thier training and coaching of other organizations in a revenue generating capacity, are eligible to become certified trainers and/or coaches by meeting these requirements.  Additional agreement required: 

  • 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.

Membership Process:

  • Perspective members MUST successfully complete a Shift Training Series. 
  • Practitioners must submit thier initial asset map and commit to community listening process 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.