Mission and Vision


The CommNS builds capacity and knowledge in community and nonprofit studies through the integration of action and applied research, education, outreach and engagement.


The CommNS provides an inspiring place for UW faculty and Center affiliates to exchange and collaborate with fellow researchers, students, community members, professionals and volunteers in civil society and community organizations in the following ways:

  • Conducting groundbreaking applied research examining key issues in communities and the nonprofit sector/civil society. Research affiliates represent many disciplines but are leaders in scholarship and action to promote (1) community wellbeing and empowerment, (2) youth civic engagement and development, (3) sustainable community systems, and (4) program evaluation and community engagement.
  • Creating outstanding education/informational exchanges that promote best practices for community improvement and collaborative strategies for achieving social/systems change. The CommNS provides a platform for dissemination and engagement with community members, professionals, and students engaged in community and nonprofit leadership. The CommNS’ scholarship, dissemination, and capacity building supports the development of current and future leaders and practitioners in community and nonprofit organizations, as well as the development of scholars trained to employ multiple methods and multiple disciplinary perspectives to solving real-world problems in collaboration with community and nonprofit organizations.
  • Innovative thinking that develops new strategies through collaborative and participatory research and community engagement. Through bridging research and practice and fostering experiential education, the CommNS is involved in devising new models and strategies for impact on social issues and community improvement.