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About the National Civic League

NCL is a 120-year-old nonpartisan nonprofit organization that strengthens democracy by increasing the capacity of our nation’s people to fully participate in and build healthy and prosperous communities across America. We help people achieve their objectives in several ways—an awards program, customized assistance and training, and guides and publications. We are experts in building the capacity of people in communities to work in a new ways to address complex issues such as fiscal sustainability, environmental stewardship, racial equity, immigrant integration, and transportation oriented development. NCL helps institutions and local government effectively engage residents and the broad diversity of the community. NCL’s All-America City Awards is an energizing and transformative experience for more than 1,000 people annually. Through advocacy and publications NCL has provided important guidelines to thousands of cities on how to be accountable and accessible to their residents.

NCL Core Values:

  • Empower people to participate and act
  • Celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusiveness
  • Support democratic processes that create high-performance governments
  • Nurture hope and contribute to success in communities


NCL’s Community Services team helps people confront and resolve their most pressing and urgent challenges as communities. NCL’s expertise is designing inclusive public processes that enhance relationships and harness the creativity of many minds to create high quality, results oriented action plans. More than 20 years of working with communities across the country, people have achieved breakthroughs in fiscal sustainability, environmental stewardship, immigrant integration, racial equity, health, education, housing, and neighborhood revitalization, to name a few. NCL seeks out grants from community-minded companies, national and community foundations, and others to conduct this work in underserved communities.

NCL’s new Fiscal Accountability Program is intended to assist local communities and school districts that seek to engage their residents in developing “win-win” strategies and solutions to the current fiscal crisis and to increase their faith in democracy and the efficacy of civic engagement. It is also aimed at improving public understanding of the challenges facing both local schools, governments and the most vulnerable populations in their midst.


NCL’s most requested publication, the 8th Edition of the Model City Charter – in print for 85 years, promotes the most widely used governmental structure in American cities.

Published since 1912, the National Civic Review is a quarterly journal that features essays, reports and case studies on civic engagement, community building, political reform and local government innovation.

For more information on NCL programs, visit