What Is a Community Development Group?

A community development group consists of people who come together to create and support healthy communities. Groups may consist of nonprofit workers, government workers, business owners, religious leaders and others who are interested in community development, support and improvement. A community development group works with others in a town or community in order to create a plan that will help that community thrive.

Sometimes referred to as a CD group, a community development group typically functions in an effort to create a safe, healthy living environment for residents of that community. Within a CD group, individual committees and sub-committees may be created to accomplish target goals. A group often works with other agencies and committees such as social institutions, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies and others who may exist outside of the core group to achieve optimal results.

One of the key goals of various community development programs includes economic development by attracting new business to an area. Also, CD groups often focus on urban development and community planning for things like parks and recreational activities. Often a community development group is involved in planning new housing developments and must, therefore, work closely with banks, private investors, architects and builders.

Government and private funding is often extended to a community development group to facilitate certain changes within a community. At the same time, a CD group may also grant funds to other organizations that are needed to support the group’s overall goals. For instance, a community development group may award a grant to a nonprofit organization to sustain after-school programs or to a social organization to promote awareness about a community policy or a particular issue affecting that community. In order to be eligible for such funds, however, most CD groups set high standards in an effort to assure that organizations applying for funding have plans that are aligned with the overall goals of the CD group.

Many of the plans associated with a community development group are crafted during regular meetings. Some groups meet on a weekly or monthly basis, while others meet on a quarterly or annual basis. Just as the goals of one community development group may vary from that of another, the approach to accomplishing those goals may vary, too. The main focus of all groups, however, is to build powerful, sustainable communities by using a variety of resources, ideas and tools.

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