Visitor Question: Is there a list of current CDCs? A central registry? How do I find out whether the need I want to address is already being addressed?
Editors Reply: To our knowledge there is no comprehensive list of community development corporations that are active in the USA right now. If a visitor to our site knows of one, please add a comment.
There is no official certification process for what constitutes a CDC, so that complicates the process of compiling a list.
The best available information is through the members of NACEDA, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations. As of today they have 45 member coalitions of CDCs, many of them state organizations.
We do not see any member organizations in Utah, but you should browse their member list to see if any nearby associations catch your eye.
If you are not in a geographic area covered by one of these networks of CDCs, you will need to do your own research. Your first stop should be any office of planning or community development that your municipality may have. Sometimes planners may not be a hundred percent friendly to CDCs, seeing them as a little too radical or political, so if you find evasive answers, don't be too surprised.
The next stop should be your regional planning commission, if you have one, or MPO (metropolitan planning organization charged with transportation planning for your region). If you are working within a metropolitan area having a population of more than 50,000, you will have an MPO at least. The Federal Highway Administration seems to have moved or removed their list of MPOs, so it's a little embarrassing to say that the best list of them is probably at Wikipedia right now.
In your case the MPO probably is Wasatch Front Regional Council.
When located, your MPO may or may not be very interested in CDCs, but someone there at least should be concerned enough about the issue you would like to see addressed to give you a few other contacts with similar interests.
From there, follow the usual process of asking those referral people who may know about CDCs in your area. If you do not locate any after several rounds of following up with any new contacts you are given, proceed with your interest in seeing that a CDC is started and see what happens.
The important thing is not to become so ego-involved in your efforts to start a new organization that you stubbornly stick to the plan, even if you uncover someone who already is doing something similar. We assume that maybe you already saw our page on starting a community development corporation. If not, read that and absorb the part about not duplicating organizations unless you really cannot come to terms with what an existing CDC is doing.
We love CDCs and think they do incredibly important work, but forming a robust CDC is plenty taxing. So you are completely appropriate in your wish to avoid duplicate CDCs.
As you do this research, you might want to write down a concise description of the need you would like to address. You are sure to be asked this as you explore possible other organizations, so be ready with an answer that is as specific as you can make it. You never know when one of these contacts might turn out to be an important ally if you or others decide to proceed with forming a CDC.
Good luck in all of this. Your heart is in the right place.
February 6, 2017
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