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Five Action Strategies

After years of studying community change and learning alongside communities committed to making change happen, Search Institute has named five Action Strategies that new and ongoing initiatives can use to guide the work they do in their own towns, cities, or regions.

Using the Five Action Strategies

Community initiatives based on the Developmental Assets work thoughtfully to determine how people in all spheres of life can be involved. What keeps an initiative vibrant is the relationships that develop between the adults and young people in each sphere and in the networks of adults formed across those spheres.

The five Action Strategies provide a practical approach to identifying, encouraging, and linking all the important people, places, activities, and programs necessary for a powerful collective effort. With a focused initiative, you can intensify your efforts to:

  • Engage adults from all walks of life to develop sustained, strength-building relationships with children and adolescents, both within families and in neighborhoods.
  • Mobilize young people to use their power as asset builders and change agents. This means listening to their input and including them in decision making.
  • Activate sectors of the community-such as schools, congregations, businesses, and youth, human service, and health-care organizations-to create an asset-building culture and to contribute fully to young people's healthy development.
  • Invigorate programs to become more asset rich and to be available to and accessed by all children and youth.
  • Influence civic decisions by influencing decision makers and opinion leaders to leverage financial, media, and policy resources in support of this positive transformation of communities and society.

As you think about these five Action Strategies, you will notice that they are not tasks to complete one by one in sequence. Instead, as you strengthen relationships within and between these spheres of influence across the community, you will build a web of interconnected efforts that support one another. Long-lasting success happens by merging the asset-building capacities of all community members-in all the settings where the lives of adults and youth intersect. It takes the combination of all five Action Strategies to make lasting positive change.

Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®. Copyright © 2008 Search Institute, Minneapolis , MN ; 800-888-7828; All rights reserved.

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