Comprehensive Community-wide Initiatives

Comprehensive Community-wide Initiative is a holistic approach to neighborhood change and a commitment to building “intangibles” such as community and social capital.   Authority and responsibility for community transformation efforts rests with the stakeholders in a neighborhood or community rather than a government agency.

  • CCI evolves out of the belief that single-faceted solutions cannot succeed in revitalizing community.
  • CCI seeks to strengthen all aspects of a neighborhood including social, educational, economic, physical, and cultural characteristics with the ultimate goal of building community.
  • CCI involves multiple interventions aimed at different populations and problems overtime.
  • CCI requires careful sequencing and interrelationships among investments in each area.

Comprehensive Community-wide Initiatives Attract Funders

To achieve goals, CCIs involve multiple organizations including CDCs, community-based organizations, and private funding sources such as foundations and businesses.  For the most part, CCI’s have been created by and receive the majority of support from private foundations, although a growing number of federal, state, and locally sponsored initiatives have adopted this comprehensive approach.

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Rebuilding Community Initiative – half billion, 22 cities, 10 years
  • Northwest Area Foundation’s Initiative – $180m, 10 communities, 10 years
  • Fannie Mae Foundation
  • World Vision
  • Stuart Foundation

Example: In 1991, a Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program (CCRP) began in South Bronx.  This initiative began with $3 million commitment from Surdna Foundation, eventually attracted the support of 20 additional funders, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.  A total pool of 9.4 million was amassed, which was leveraged to obtain approximately $44 million more for CCRP-related efforts.  This level of funding enabled CCRP to address a host of problems that had plagued the South Bronx.

CCI Research and Support

  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, DHHS
  • The Aspen Institute: Roundtable on Community Change
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Rebuilding Community Initiative
  • Univ. of Chicago Chapin Hall Center for Children
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • The Ford Foundation Neighborhoods and Families Initiative
  • New School for Social Research
  • Civic Practices Network
  • National Community Building Network
  • Shelterforce

CCI Critical Success Factors
A study conducted by staff of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services identified several critical success factors of effective comprehensive community initiatives. These success factors include:

  • Clear vision and mission well understood and shared by all stakeholders
  • Goals and outcomes are whatever the community wants them to be
  • The mission is sustained and frequently revitalized
  • Leverage existing resources and programs
  • Strong leadership and staff
  • Strong board of governance
  • Responsive to community needs
  • Community participation
  • Collaboration
  • Financial planning and Management