Services provided by Active Living By Design to build healthy communities

Active Living By Design (ALBD) supports healthy community change by providing strategic consultation and technical assistance in collaboration with communities, professionals, nonprofit agencies, and philanthropic organizations across the United States. Our multidisciplinary team provides expertise in a variety of content areas, including public health, nutrition, urban planning, community development, public policy, social work, communications, and architecture. For more information, see our staff profiles.

Since 2002, we have helped build the healthy communities movement by:

  • Working with more than 160 community partnerships in over 30 states
  • Designing and managing over $75 million in grant-funded initiatives
  • Providing strategic consultation to dozens of funders and nonprofit organizations
  • Participating in more than 200 local, state, and national task forces and advisory groups
  • Planning and hosting 12 multi-day national meetings
  • Leading more than 300 presentations for diverse audiences, ranging from healthy community coalitions and advocates to elected officials, foundation leaders, researchers, and students
  • Co-editing four peer-reviewed journals and publishing dozens of papers, case studies, resource guides, and toolkits

To read more about how we’ve worked with philanthropies, nonprofits, and community coalitions, read our annual reports.


Advancing Action

For Funders

  • We design and manage local, state, and national grant programs that advance healthy communities through policy, systems, and environmental change efforts.
  • We lead and participate in grant review processes and offer a seasoned perspective on effective proposals.
  • We provide training and technical assistance to grantees and foundation staffs/boards of directors related to community-based strategies.
  • We develop formative research addressing healthy communities trends and opportunities.
  • We evaluate healthy community initiatives.

For Community Leaders

  • We assist community leaders in choosing strategies (like farmers’ markets, bike lanes, or master plans) that best fit their community’s context and readiness.
  • We provide training and technical assistance (one time or ongoing) to coalitions, nonprofit organizations, and their leaders to build capacity for implementing healthy community strategies.


Lifting Leaders

For Funders 

  • We coach funders investing in place-based work on effective ways to work with coalitions and local leaders for effective healthy community change.
  • We develop case studies, toolkits, and other field-building resources that enable funders and their grantees to do their best work.
  • We convene learning networks, conferences, webinars, and meetings for funders and/or their grantees to optimize opportunities for generative thinking, shared wisdom and resources, and new partnerships.
  • We facilitate strategic thinking and sustainability planning to help funders (and their grantees) achieve their goals and sustain their results.

For Community Leaders

  • We coach partnerships, nonprofit organizations, and government staff/officials to build capacity for leading change. Topics include developing or maintaining a community coalition, sustaining healthy community work, leading advocacy change and more.
  • We provide tailored training to local coalitions interested in overcoming barriers, making their work last, or deepening their understanding of specific issue areas.
  • We provide local change agents with helpful referrals to other leaders, organizations, and resources that will aid in achieving their goals.


Inspiring Collaboration

For Funders

  • We assist funders who seek a collaborative approach to supporting community change. ALBD’s Community Action Model focuses on multidisciplinary partnerships and authentic resident engagement to create meaningful and lasting change. We teach funders and grantees this model and the practices that are essential to success.
  • We connect like-minded funders and community change agents to accelerate their efforts.

For Community Leaders

  • We coach new and existing partnerships in using ALBD’s Community Action Model and aligning it with the key practices that are essential for success.
  • We provide training around effective collaboration and authentic resident engagement.
  • We connect like-minded community change agents with each other to help strengthen the healthy communities movement.