Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Community Change Initiatives (CCI) 3: Community Engagement

The organization engages a diverse group of community stakeholders to plan and carry out initiatives that improve the community.
2020 Edition




Community Change Initiatives mobilize the community for action, strengthen the capacity of residents and organizations to effect and sustain change, build and improve neighborhoods, and lay the groundwork for future progress.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • List of stakeholders
  • Procedures for communicating with stakeholders
  • Procedures for collecting stakeholder feedback
  • Procedures for group decision making and dispute resolution
  • Evidence of collaboration with stakeholders from the previous six months (i.e., meeting notices, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, correspondence, documentation of decisions) 
  • Copies of outreach and informational materials, including reports on progress, provided to various stakeholder groups over the previous 6 months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Stakeholders
  • Observe community meetings, if possible


CCI 3.01

On an ongoing basis the organization helps the initiative identify and engage a group of stakeholders that represent many segments of the community including organizations, institutions, and residents who reflect the diversity of the community, on an ongoing basis.
Examples: Relevant organizations and institutions can include, but are not limited to: civic associations, tenant associations, neighborhood centers, parks and recreation services, schools and colleges, faith-based institutions and associations, health and social services agencies, libraries, cultural institutions, youth development or afterschool programs, for-profit businesses, public officials and policymakers, funders, and the media.


CCI 3.02

The organization provides opportunities for community stakeholders to be involved in all aspects of the initiative by:
  1. providing timely notification of meetings;
  2. documenting all important decisions in writing;
  3. developing procedures for communicating with community stakeholders about the initiative and its activities;
  4. regularly reporting to the community on the initiative’s status, progress, and outcomes; and
  5. developing procedures for community stakeholders to provide regular feedback about the initiative and the organization’s role in the initiative.


In the event that a key stakeholder chooses not to participate, the organization must document efforts to encourage participation and show that the stakeholder was not intentionally excluded.
NA The organization only provides technical assistance to community change initiatives.
Examples: Strategies and techniques for facilitating communication with stakeholders include, but are not limited to: community meetings and public forums, newsletters, news releases, resident information brokers and organizing coordinators, neighborhood networks, house parties, festivals; parades, and other special events.


CCI 3.03

The organization facilitates a collaborative working arrangement by:
  1. bringing community stakeholders together as peers and equals;
  2. ensuring that no stakeholder, including the organization itself, dominates the initiative;
  3. demonstrating tolerance, understanding, and respect for both stakeholders and the community as a whole;
  4. facilitating the development of trust and respect among community stakeholders;
  5. following fair and clearly-understood procedures for decision-making and dispute resolution; and
  6. addressing and managing any conflicts that arise.
NA The organization only provides technical assistance to community change initiatives.