Annual Conferences

CDS hosts an annual conference on its own or in collaboration with partners like the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) and the International Association for Community Development (IACD). Presentations, workshops, and experiential learning opportunities are common offerings delivered by practitioners and scholars alike.

2023 Conference in Portland, Oregon (USA)

Hood and Holler: Similarities and Differences in Urban and Rural Community Development
The 2023 annual conference will be held in Portland, Oregon next July 16-19. After a cancelled 2020 conference followed by two virtual conferences, we are extremely excited to be gathering together in person with our co-hosts Portland State University and Oregon State University. We look forward to seeing old friends and welcoming many new members. We hope you will join us! The Call for Proposals – which is live now through January 9th – welcomes both scholars and practitioners. The program will include usual conference highlights like mobile workshops, the awards banquet, and auctions. Learn more on the 2023 Conference Page.

2024 CDS Conference

Our 2024 conference will be in Omaha, NE July 14-17, 2024 near the historic Downtown Old Market. More information will be made available soon.


As convening online has become easier and more popular, CDS offers a variety of professional development webinars. Webinars are available to the public, but only logged-in members can access the archive of webinar recordings.

See All Webinar Announcements


The Linda Sunde CDS Endowment Fund was established by CDS members to provide a sustainable source of support to Members for conference participation, community development education, practice, and community-engaged research projects. The number of scholarships and the amount awarded each year varies according to the funds available through investment growth in the previous year. The CDS Stewardship Committee makes these determinations under the guidance of the CDS Board Treasurer.

Scholarship and award recipients are recognized at a plenary session during the CDS annual conference and are encouraged to attend, even if not required to do so. All recipients are required to “give back” to CDS through volunteer service for a period of one year on a CDS committee or working group of their choosing.

The deadline to submit scholarship applications is May 5th at 12:00 p.m. (noon) CDT each year.


During its annual conference, the Community Development Society (CDS) has the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of its Members and colleagues through a variety of awards. We encourage anyone to recognize the work of their community development colleagues by submitting a nomination on their behalf.

The purpose, eligibility criteria, and the opportunity to nominate a colleague for each award can be found in the links below.

Research Projects

CDS seeks to advance its mission through research projects led by working groups and ad hoc committees. 

  • Academic Accreditation – this working group is conducting participatory research to develop a proposal to launch accreditation of professional degree programs in community development, including core competencies, institutional standards, and self-study procedures. If you have questions or would like to participate in this working group, please contact the working group leader, Mike Dougherty at


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