Institute for Local Self Reliance-- Independent Business Initiative

This web site, hosted by the Institute for Local Self Reliance, focuses on the efforts to preserve independently owned retail establishments and resist the proliferation of “big box” retailers. On this site, you will find both articles on local disputes, as well as a number of economic impact studies that document the greater local economic multiplier effect of locally owned retail establishments.

Economic Development Directory

Economic development corporations play a critical role in developing many city, county, and regional economic development efforts — everything from traditional business incentives to more innovative efforts based on developing local capacity. This web site contains a directory of websites of over 2000 economic development agencies, consultants and associations worldwide.

Center for State and Local Government Excellence

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence assists municipal governments become better employers, allowing them to attract and retain better individuals in public service jobs. Connecting state and local leaders with respected researchers, the Center works to identify and promote best practices for a variety of issues, including how to address the expanding costs of public employee pensions and retiree health care benefits.

Baller Herbst Law Group

The Baller-Herbst Law Group has specialized in representing municipal utilities in litigation regarding broadband development. Their web site contains a number of presentations and articles regarding municipal broadband and related legal issues.

Urban Agriculture Notes

Maintained by City Farmer, a Vancouver-based nonprofit that runs the city's compost and waterwise demonstration garden, the city's natural yard care promotion and the regional compost hotline, Urban Agriculture Notes is an online resource of 14 years (1994-2008) of urban agriculture information.  In 2008, City Farmer created a new website to feature new postings and links.

SPIN Farming

Standing for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive, SPIN farming is advertised as a non-technical, easy-to-learn and inexpensive-to-implement vegetable farming system that allows an individual to grow more than $50,000 worth of produce per half acre. The system was created by Wally Satzewich and Gail Vandersteen, who themselves manage Wallys Urban Market Garden, a multi-locational sub-acre urban farm in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

RUAF Foundation (Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security)

The RUAF Foundation is an international network of seven regional centers and one global resource center on Urban Agriculture and Food Security.  Focusing more heavily on urban agriculture in developing countries, the foundation publishes the Urban Agriculture Magazine and other papers, books and policy briefs about urban agriculture developments. 

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service lists news, events and funding opportunities and provides comprehensive publications and reports regarding sustainable agriculture and organic farming.  The site contains a section specifically dedicated to urban and community agriculture, providing resource links and downloadable reports.

The Lunch Box

The Lunch Box is an online toolkit with Healthy Tools For All Schools, designed to transform school food into healthy and delicious food for all children. The site offers recipes and other best practices from school districts across the country.

King County Extension: Gardening (Washington State University)

The King County's Extension gardening resource page provides research-based information on sustainable gardening practices. Fact sheets include information on soil testing, compositing, raised beds and other insights that could assist community gardens.

City Farmer News

City Farmer News is City Farmer's - a Vancouver-based nonprofit that runs the city's compost and waterwise demonstration garden, the city's natural yard care promotion and the regional compost hotline - new website.  Started in 2008, City Farmer News is a continuation of Urban Agriculture Notes, providing a comprehensive online resource for the urban agricultural community.

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)

An initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Alternative Farming Information Systems Information Center includes a range of resources focused on sustainable food systems and practices.  Many resources are also focused on urban agriculture.


Studies of Socially Responsible investing

Assembled by Lloyd Kurtz, a professional portfolio advisor and a Research Fellow at the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business of the University of California, Berkeley, this site contains links to a group of studies that compare the financial performance of socially screened funds against comparable conventional investment funds.

Hazel Henderson

Based in St. Augustine, Florida, Dr. Hazel Henderson is a syndicated columnist, producer of the television series, Ethical Marketplace (broadcast on PBS, see:, and a consultant on sustainable development. The website includes a wide range of her writings on socially responsible investment and related issues.

Green Money Journal

Founded in 1993, this journal covers a broad range of issues in the socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility world. Back issues of magazine articles since 1999 are available on line.

FSG Social Impact Advisors

Founded in 1999 by Michael Porter to be a for-profit consulting firm, FSG Social Impact Advisors became a nonprofit organization in 2006. The group aims to change the practice of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility both through client-based consulting work as well as through field-spanning conferences and reports, a number of which are available for free download from its website.

Ethical Markets

Ethical Markets is an independent media company that strives to promote a global economy that is sustainable and just.  Providing a perspective on the Green Transition, Reforming Global Finance, SRI and more, Ethical Markets provides a useful research resource for information relating to this global shift.

Center for Responsible Business

Founded in 2003 and housed at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Responsible Business strives to be a leader in corporate social responsibility research, both in the academic and practitioner arenas. This site contains a series of working papers on stakeholder engagement, with a focus on developing quantitative measures.

Calvert Foundation: Community Investment Profiles

Investing in a professionally managed portfolio of loans to more than 240 nonprofits and social enterprises working in over 100 countries to alleviate poverty, the Calvert Foundation provides a searchable database of these different organizations. These investments are clustered in four principle impact sectors: housing, microlending, small business, and community development. The site also provides a tool for individuals to calculate the impact their investment will have based on the amount, duration, and sector of the investment.

Business Ethics

Founded in 1987, Business Ethics magazine is the only U.S.-based business magazine focused on ethics and corporate social responsibility. Published exclusively online since 2006, it is read by leaders in business, investing, academia, government and civil society organizations interested in corporate social responsibility issues.