Why Associations are Important to Communities
Based on the work of John McKnight
ASSOCIATIONS ARE THE CIVIC SPACE FOR DEMOCRACY
Associations are a vehicle for democracy where citizens
are producers and take and make power in their efforts
to improve the quality of their lives.
Societies with strong institutions and no associations
ASSOCIATIONS ARE A COMMUNITY'S
• show what people really care about.
• are implementers of care.
• motivate people to get together.
• are a dormant community workforce
waiting to be mobilized.
• do all kinds of things that are unrelated to
their mission (i.e., Adopt-a-Highway).In these societies associations are considered conspiracies.
relatively invisible. They
are there, but they must
be identified in order to
leverage them for
Associations are voluntary –
people aren’t paid in
associations. Money is not
the mobilizer. The motivation
to associate is by personal
priority and passion.
Associations are magnifiers of gifts
and capacities of local people. They
are an essential structure for
identification, utilization and
magnification of gifts, skills and