Waving the Community's Flag: Winchester and Clark County's Moment

The central challenge facing Winchester and Clark County—like so many other places throughout our country—is how to make community a common enterprise again. At the conclusion of this report, there are seven key steps to do just that. Making progress—real progress—is doable and achievable if people come together to act. 


Boards Turning Outward: Getting Beyond the Organization-First Approach

This report illustrates the results of the conversations that the Harwood Institute had with board members across America. The results pointed to a series of challenges boards face both in recognizing the need to be more connected to the community and also engaging in behaviors as a board that would make that connection more likely.


The Ripple Effect: How Change Spreads in Communities

There is a growing desire to figure out how communities can marshal their collective talents, assets and people to address tough challenges. But how does such change happen – and spread? What’s in play? And how can one be intentional in their efforts to help bring it about? This is what The Harwood Institute, with support from the Kettering Foundation, sought to answer.


Putting Community in Collective Impact

This article lays out five key characteristics of civic culture, explore why they matter, and how paying attention to them may be the difference between a collective impact effort getting stuck – even falling flat – or generating the kinds of results we seek. A collective impact approach holds enormous promise for bringing about meaningful change – but only if such action is taken with communities, not apart from them.


Community Rhythms: The Five Stages of Community Life

Why is it that some initiatives take off in one community but seem to fall flat when you try to replicate them in other places? The five stages of community life help explain why some communities move faster and others slower when it comes to change.


The Engagement Path

What does engagement look like when it works well? “The Engagement Path” is a report from The Harwood Institute that pulls together years of experience in working with communities to detail the way people handle on issues over time in a constructive, meaningful way.


Meaningful Chaos: How People Form Relationships with Public Concerns 

The formation of authentic public opinion requires confrontation with political realities and open discussion. This report presents findings of a study that sought to describe the nature of the process through which citizens learn about public concerns and engage in them. The report argues that the seemingly chaotic process of forming opinions is actually one composed of meaningful patterns and principles.