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The Approach

Our approach applies to the following principles of holistic community transformation:

Geographically focused
Holistic revitalization


Asset-based development



Collective Impact


Through a place-based approach to addressing community challenges, we concentrate resources in EMMA and Beechwood to achieve effective long-term neighborhood benefits.

We consider the relationship among all aspects of community development -- education, housing, jobs, health and safety and more -- to create thriving neighborhoods.

We will build upon existing neighborhood strengths to ensure that all initiatives are developed with residents rather than for residents.

We collaborate with all stakeholders -- especially community residents -- in a shared mission to break the cycle of poverty and revitalize the EMMA and Beechwood neighborhoods. 

Robert Lupton, Author, Toxic Charity

You cannot serve the poor out of poverty. What the poor need most is a caring and connected neighbor.
Communications Bureau City of Rochester

Geographically Focused

Research shows that focusing resources in a defined area can create long-lasting community transformation more quickly than when those same resources are spread throughout a region, and allows results to be more easily measured. The EMMA and Beechwood neighborhoods have distinct strengths as well as unique challenges. A customized approach is necessary. 

Photo: Communications Bureau City of Rochester

Holistic Revitalization

Connected Communities' holistic approach is inspired and informed by the highly successful model of Purpose Built Communities. This framework of holistic community revitalization includes a cradle-to-college-to-career education pipeline, a mixed-income housing strategy and community wellness through a rich network of community and support services.

Purpose Built Communities was established in 2009 to replicate the dramatic success of Atlanta's
East Lake Foundation in other urban areas of concentrated poverty around the nation.

Purpose Built Communities diagram
Asset-based Community Development diagram

Asset-Based Community Development

Being guided by the principles of Asset-Based Community Development means doing things with the community rather than for the community. Building on the existing strengths of individuals and other assets in a community engages those who care about the neighborhood most: the residents who call it home. This has proven to produce lasting positive results, by empowering individuals to use their gifts and resources to make a difference in their own communities. 

Collective vs. Isolated Impact

Because our community's most complex social problems require the alignment of multiple resources through a collective impact initiative, Connected Communities serves as a “lead organization” for the acceleration of holistic community transformation.

Traditionally, organizations work separately and compete to fund and scale isolated programs while corporate and government sectors are disconnected from foundations and nonprofits. This can be described as Isolated Impact. Instead, we have commitments from important stakeholders from different sectors who have come together with a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. 

Collective vs. Isolated impact

Our Founding Partners

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