Get to Know Your Community

The first step in any faith and civic partnership is to discover your community’s story.

  • Who lives here?
  • What are our strengths?
  • What are the issues?

Use the following data resources to provide more insight on the challenges and opportunities that exist within your community.

Notable Resources

5 Questions to Ask About Your Community: Whether your faith community has a storied tradition in community engagement or is just getting started these helpful tips help frame your current and future vision for civic partnership

IEI Civic Health Index: What is civic health? It is the social and economic vitality that results when citizens interact productively with their neighbors, involve themselves in community institutions, and actively engage in public issues Noteworthy: “North Carolina Subgroups: Trends and Divided” (Page 23)

NC 211 Counts: 211 is a free phone service provided by United Way for many North Carolina counties about basic social services. Select your county name to see the calls registered about housing, legal services, food insecurity and more in your area Noteworthy: Check out the top request for assistance over the past 365 days for your county

IEI’s Rural Faith Community Action Guide: This guide is designed to help faith communities understand local issues, identify potential community-based solutions, and develop clear steps to create a discernible  plan of action Noteworthy: “Appendix: Worksheets” for a simple way to plan your involvement

Asset-Based Strategies for Faith Communities Workbook: This in-depth guide from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute is vital for understanding how your faith community can live out best practices when engaging your neighbors. Noteworthy: “Finding Inspiration in Our Community’s Assets” (Page 67)

Sample Congregation Listening Session: Asking questions is one of the best ways to evaluate what strengths your congregation brings to community partnership Noteworthy: Guidelines for listening session facilitators ensure the best outcome

Congregation Values: Each faith community operates under a set of values which may vary depending on who you ask. Setting up core values guide future efforts is essential for focused partnerships. Noteworthy: Include the values list in your worship bulletin and ask participants to circle the top 5 values of the congregation