Location, Location, Location

Last week the city of Chandler, Arizona celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. Since the Xico office is located in the middle of downtown Chandler, we’ve gotten to see all of the fun events. As people talk about what the city has meant to them, it raises the question of why place is so important. In the age of the internet where the whole world is connected digitally, why does it matter where you live, work, and play?

There’s been a lot of research done on places and place-making (intentionally steering communities to be recognizable, livable, attractive, etc). Chandler is a good example of a community that is very self-aware and motivated to improve. That’s great from a nonprofit perspective because we are all about community. One popular way of thinking about place for nonprofits is asset-based community development. This practice is a way of improving communities by using the strengths that already exist rather than focusing on problems. The key to asset-based community development is finding resources that exist locally and developing them into a network that can strengthen the community from the ground up.