Praise for Community Heart & Soul

Here is what community volunteers, mayors, council members, planners, city managers, and foundation leaders have to say about Community Heart & Soul®.

Local Government

"The power of Heart & Soul® is that it created a critical mass of positivity that overcame old differences that had become obstacles in the community." John Alden, planning commissioner, Essex Junction, Vermont

"The fabric of a community is built by its volunteers. By placing volunteers front and center, the Heart & Soul process has helped to weave the fabric of our community." Mike Bestor, city manager, Golden, Colorado

"The Heart & Soul process really provides us with a framework for how to collect input from residents and how to use the input that we get from the town. It's been great." Robin Mayer, selectboard member, Damariscotta, Maine

"If you really want to take an in-depth look at what matters to the members of your community and create a stronger, more cohesive community, Heart & Soul's the way to go." Thom Harnett, mayor, Gardiner, Maine

"The results of our Heart & Soul work have exceeded our expectations in the number and diversity of people participating and the quality of information received." Jacob Smith, former mayor, Golden, Colorado


"Our partnership with Orton to bring Heart & Soul to small towns in Hancock County has changed the way the Community Foundation does business in a powerful way by making our grant-making less transactional and more transformational." Julie Brown, program director, The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, Findlay, Ohio

"Our foundation has been leading effective community engagement since 2005. We believe strongly that local decision making is key to building strong, sustainable communities. With Orton's experience, support, and resources like the Community Heart & Soul Field Guide, we see an opportunity to move our work from good to great." Nancy Van Milligen, president and chief executive officer, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa

"In my 30 years of work with small towns, I have never seen a legacy effort shape and build leaders as effectively as Heart & Soul does.” Sherry E. Ristau, president and ceo of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa, and trustee, Orton Family Foundation. 


Heart & Soul Practioners

"We are creating successful economic development that pays tribute to...where we come from. Without that base, we risk becoming 'some revitalized city' instead of an evolving Biddeford with culture and flavor and strengths that need to be maintained while adding the new." Delilah Poupore, executive director, Heart of Biddeford, Biddeford, Maine

"The Heart & Soul project ultimately helped us look into ourselves and our community and determine what our heart and soul really is, and helped us use that to create a great future." Darlis Smith, Heart & Soul coordinator, Polson, Montana


“You know what I love about Heart & Soul? People feel like they can be proud of McComb. Things like football have always been a community passion, but it’s inspiring to see everyone rallying around new and positive ideas, too. I’ve already seen so much good come from this process and I know it’s just the start. I’m so excited to watch it!” Angela Crist, former McComb resident who lives in nearby Findlay, Ohio