We engage with communities and institutions to connect them with innovative strategies, models and training to build community wealth in their neighborhoods.


We build knowledge and leadership for the community wealth building field with cutting-edge research and analysis.

Field Building

We promote & communicate our vision and engage in collaborative partnerships to co-create the community wealth building field. Tote Brown Brahmin and Leather Satchel Black Tdqx4F

System Change

We work to raise awareness of the need for systemic change, designing models that better realize fundamental values of equality, democracy, and sustainability.

Our recent work

Community Wealth Building

Fighting inequality with comprehensive and transformative solutions for community economic development.

Cities Building Community Wealth

November 4th, 2015
In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by. This situation is created in part by the practices of traditional economic development. Current trends threaten to worsen, unless we can answer the design challenge before us. Can we create an economic system—beginning at the local level—that builds the wealth and prosperity of everyone?
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Inequality’s Dead End—And the Possibility of a New, Long-Term Direction

Gar Alperovitz
Nonprofit Quarterly

MINKOFF REBECCA Black Handbag REBECCA MINKOFF REBECCA Handbag Black REBECCA MINKOFF Handbag Handbag Black Black MINKOFF It is easy to be distracted by what passes for economic news these days, focused as it is on short-term fluctuations and assurances of recovery and revitalization. The simple truth, however, is that year by year, decade by decade, life in the United States is steadily growing ever more unequal.

Democratizing ownership

Developing new models to promote equity and anchor capital in communities.

Broad-Based Ownership Models as Tools for Job Creation and Community Development

Marjorie Kelly, Steve Dubb and Violeta Duncan

As cities wrestle with the growing challenge of wealth inequality, more and more leaders are looking to broad-based ownership models as tools to create jobs and build community wealth. These models are highly effective, with a positive impact for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. This report looks at six such models—ESOPs, Worker Cooperatives, CDFIs, Social Enterprises, Municipal Ownership, and Emerging Hybrids—with examples of best practices, and explores how these models can be used in community economic development.

Taking Employee Ownership to Scale: Learning + Design Session

Black Handbag Handbag Handbag MINKOFF MINKOFF Black Black REBECCA Handbag REBECCA REBECCA REBECCA MINKOFF Black MINKOFF Democracy at Work Institute, The Democracy Collaborative

On June 13 and 14, 2016 in Washington, DC, many of the nation’s leading experts in employee ownership, sustainable business and finance, community and economic development, and philanthropy came together in a Learning + Design session. Co-hosts for the meeting were Marjorie Kelly and Jessica Bonanno of The Democracy Collaborative and Camille Kerr of Democracy at Work Institute. The purpose of the session was to discuss how to achieve unprecedented scale of employee ownership by focusing on achieving an audacious goal: 50 million U.S. employee-owners by 2050. This report summarizes and expands upon the June meeting:

Connecting the Field

Building a stronger network of practice for community wealth builders across the country.

Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building

Our new Learning/Action Lab program helps amplify local capacity to deploy new strategies for building wealth in low-income communities, connecting grassroots leaders with the models and best practices they need for transformative economic development.  Our first cohort of Lab participants is bringing together five Native organizations for ongoing training and consultation as they develop new community-owned enterprises. 

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Our executive director outlines how community wealth building can help empower marginalized communities. Read more about PolicyLink's Angela Glover Blackwell interviews Ted Howard...

Vision and Strategy

Helping orient our work today as community wealth builders towards the world we want to see tomorrow.

The Pluralist Commonwealth

Our co-founder Gar Alperovitz sketches out the major institutions of a systemic alternative based in plural forms of democratic ownership, oriented around community at various scales—what he has called “The Pluralist Commonwealth.” Visit for more resources and information.

Read more about The Pluralist Commonwealth...


Systemic Crisis and Systemic Change in the United States in the 21st Century

Gar Alperovitz, Gus Speth, Ted Howard and Joe Guinan
The Next System Project

This new working paper from The Next System Projectprepared as an invited contribution to the "After Fossil Fuels: The New Economy" conference in Oberlin, Ohio from October 6-8, 2016explores the intersections of systemic economic and ecological crisis, and propose that only a break with the mechanisms of corporate capitalism is capable of guaranteeing a sustainable future. 

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Anchor Institutions

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Engaging with eds, meds, and other anchor institutions to help them help communities.

Higher Education’s Anchor Mission: Measuring Place-Based Engagement

Emily Sladek

Our new report, Higher Education's Anchor Mission, examines how an ongoing—and expanding—effort to track the impact of colleges and universities on the financial and social well-being of their surrounding neighborhoods is helping these anchor institutions align their resources to build stronger community partnerships and create more inclusive local economies.

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November 20th, 2015

Healthcare’s role in creating healthy communities through increasing access to quality care, research, and grantmaking is being complemented by a higher impact approach; hospitals and integrated health systems are increasingly stepping outside of their walls to address the social, economic, and environmental conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes, shortened lives, and higher costs in the first place. Read more about Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities?...

Best practices and policy

Resources to advance community wealth building and help it scale.

The Anchor Mission Playbook

Rush University Medical Center
with support from Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE), the Civic Consulting Alliance, and The Democracy Collaborative

Anchor institutions can play a key role in helping the low-income communities they serve by better aligning their institutional resources—like hiring, purchasing, investment, and volunteer base—with the needs of those of communities. The recommendations in this “playbook,” drawn from research carried out to help Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) align around its Anchor Mission, are being published to help other hospitals and health systems accelerate their own efforts to drive institutional alignment with community needs.

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Our body Across POMIKAKI bag POMIKAKI Across Platinum body EqtOOI site is an essential resource for practitioners and policy makers working to build community wealth.  For almost a decade, our site has served as a central clearinghouse for key research and reports from the field, cutting across traditional community development silos and offering a comprehensive guide to local wealth building strategies.