System Investment in Community Building [PDF]

John O’Brien

A Discussion on Community Building with People with Developmental Disabilities in Dane County

22 August 2007 Summary by John O’Brien

To benefit as many people as possible, the work of community building calls for active support from all those who assist a person and for people with a gift for connecting & organizing who can devote a significant part of their time to it. This work is different from recruiting volunteers to take up tasks that staff would otherwise do.

The knowledge and connections necessary to do it well emerge from the work itself: People who do the work can support one another to learn to do it better but abstract lists of contracts, which can help identify activities, are of little or no use in building memberships or in organizing. Here it is trust based person-to-person contact that matters.