Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Funding Community Indicators Projects

We briefly touched on the problem of funding community indicators projects last year when a news article reminded us of the difficulty in obtaining and maintaining financial partners for this work.

Here's a recent example of the tough time some folks are having in securing funding for their indicators projects. The line I cringed at what this one: "The mayor noted that usually such projects get DECREASING amounts of money from year to year, lest they become a permanent burden on the budget."

I suspect that, especially in this economic climate, many of us are thinking about the financial sustainability of our community indicators efforts. We know that even talking about data can make people less likely to open their wallets.

Our organization has been publishing a community indicators report annually since 1985. We've seen a number of shifts in funding patterns in the community, but have managed to maintain funding for indicators (even when every other project we do has taken hits.) I'd be interested to hear from you, the readers, if it would make sense to begin a conversation among ourselves about challenges and effective strategies in funding community indicators projects. All those interested in joining that conversation, please make your interest known by replying to this message.



  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Thanks for the comment! I appreciate your support.

    If you run across any grants that might be available to fund community indicators projects, or grants that need a local measurement partner to determine long-range community impacts, please let me know and I'll pass them on to this group.