We’re glad you’re here to use the latest technology and tools to make lasting community change. We’d like to offer some support.


Help Articles in the Getting Started Topic



Frequently Asked Questions

How should I use the CHNA Report Tool?

We recommend that you begin with the vulnerable populations footprint tool. This will allow you to zoom to your community and identify areas where the highest percentage of individuals living in poverty and without a high school diploma are located. You can generate a Footprint Report summarizing the demographics for those areas of greatest disparity.

Next, we recommend that you run a Core Health Indicators Report for your county or counties. This report will summarize key health indicators in your region. You can explore the maps embedded within the report by clicking on them. Many of the indicators can be mapped at the sub-county level. You can download your Core Health Indicators Report into a PDF or Word document.

If you are ready to explore more indicators you can then run a Full Health Indicators Report. This is a very large and comprehensive report. Like the Core Health Indicators Report you can click on the maps to expand and interact with them, even adding more data. This report includes over 80 indicators and can be saved as PDF or Word.

Don’t forget to explore other areas of the toolkit such as the Health Indicators Map Gallery, and the other types of reports such as the Leading Health Indicators Report to see how your area stacks up against the HP2020 benchmarks.

Finally, explore the Resources page and the action examples to move from assessment to action.


How can I upload my own data into the Commons mapping tool?

If you are a moderator or administrator of one of our Collaborative Group Spaces you should see an Upload Data tab in the Add Data menu when making a map. If you are not an Admin or Moderator of your group and you’d like to upload data, please contact your group Admin for permission.


We do not currently offer individual subscriptions to upload data. We’re looking into this possibility and will make an announcement through our newsletter when that feature is available.

If you are interested in creating a group space on the Commons for your collaborative or organization, contact us for subscription information.

Can I import local data into the CHNA Report tool?

The CHNA platform does not allow users to upload local data at this time. The purpose of this public report is to provide a common set of national indicators for service areas across the country, addressing that there is variation in the size, shape, and data availability across regions. We do recognize the value of local data for currency and specificity, and encourage users to export their reports in Microsoft WORD format. A WORD report allows you to edit the common indicator report in any way you choose, including the addition of charts and figures from local data.

Many organizations have partnered with us to create a custom report tool highlighting their unique or local data. If you are interested in creating a customized CHNA report tool for your region or organization, contact us.


What are Vulnerable Populations?

Vulnerable populations can be identified by socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, geography, gender, age, disability status, risk status related to sex and gender, and other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities.

What is a Vulnerable Populations Footprint?

Two key social determinants, poverty and education, have a significant impact on health outcomes. Those that live in poverty and have low educational attainment are often identified as vulnerable populations. The tool allows you to automatically see the Vulnerable Populations Footprint (VPF) area for your community.

Vulnerable Populations Footprint (VPF)— The VPF tool within Community Commons maps percent of residents in poverty and those with low educational attainment as a resource in identifying the communities most in need. Areas in red depict overlap of high poverty and low educational attainment. Thresholds for percent impacted can be modified.

What is Community Commons?

Community Commons is an interactive mapping, networking, and learning platform for the broad-based healthy, sustainable, and livable communities’ movement. Learn more about the Commons here.

Why should I register for Community Commons?

There’s a lot you can do on the Commons without creating an account. But there’s even more that opens up when you create a free, instant registration. As a registered member of the Commons you can join the conversation by commenting on features that interest you! You can also use the mapping and reporting tools to explore data in your community. When you register, we encourage you to check the box to receive our newsletter. It comes twice a month and will update you on the new features, data, tools, and upcoming training opportunities. Convinced? Register now!

I can’t remember my password (or username).

Lost password screen showing input Start by visiting the lost password screen and inputting either your username or your email address.
A successful submission on the lost password screen.
Upon clicking the “Get New Password” button, if your account information was found successfully, a message will appear telling you to check your email for further instructions.
The password reset email contains a unique link that will allow you to reset your password once.
Check the email account associated with your account, and you should see a message that includes a confirmation link. (If it doesn’t arrive, be sure to check your spam message folder.)
Password reset form Click the confirmation link in the email and your browser will open the reset password screen. Change the password in the “New Password” box to what you’d like your new password to be and click “Reset Password” to confirm your new password. If the link in your email doesn’t appear to be working, it may be because your email client is changing the link slightly. In this case, copy the text of the link in your message and paste it into your browser’s location bar. (Some email clients, notably Outlook, strip information from URLs in emails. :\ )

How can I edit my Community Commons profile?

You can edit your profile by clicking the person icon in the upper-right of each page.


There you can select the Profile tab and then Edit.

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Why should I fill out an About Me and Optional Details?

Connect more easily with other change makers and let others know what you’re doing by making your initiative known! The Commons is a space for collaboration, and the more others know about your initiative and about you, the more easily they can make connections and form partnerships for lasting change.

How do I add a picture to my member profile?

Click on the person icon in the black bar at the top right of your screen.


Then click the Profile tab. Below that tab you will see a link that says “Change Profile Photo”.

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You can then browse your computer for an image you’d like to upload by clicking the “Choose File” button. Once you’ve selected an image click the “Upload Image” button to add it to your profile.

How can I connect with Community Commons on social media?

You can easily connect with Community Commons on social media:

• See what we’re sharing on our Facebook page to learn about our tools and get inspired by the healthy living projects we post.
• Follow our Twitter account (@CommunityCommon) to keep up to date with the Commons and our nationwide network of community initiatives.
• Connect to our network of thought leaders and change makers on LinkedIn by following our company page.
• Join us on Google+ at our Community Commons page to take part in hangouts with thought leaders and change makers around the nation

How can my story be highlighted on the Commons?

We love to feature change-makers on the Commons. Submit your idea for a story here, or contact us to become a guest voice on the Commons.

How is Childhood Obesity GIS different than desktop GIS?

Childhood Obesity GIS, or COGIS is not designed to replace desktop GIS. COGIS allows those without access to desktop GIS to overlay data and use GIS analytic tools on the web. COGIS enables users to generate maps without downloading any software.

Grantees with desktop GIS will see a great benefit to COGIS. Many of the datasets that RWJF grantees have an interest in have already been added to COGIS as GIS data files. The data integration work can be distributed across a collaborative, rather than requiring the time of a GIS Professional.

The COGIS interface is user friendly and comes with many tutorial, videos, and tip sheets. The COGIS grantee portfolios are designed to allow multiple users from a community to collaborate with each other and with other communities around the country. The data integration features enable users to easily incorporate local data into maps using national data. Finally, the reports feature is an easy to use tool able to create presentation quality reports that can be edited and customized with additional text, pictures, and maps.

What browser is best suited to use this site?

The Commons tools are designed to work well on all the most recent versions of all browsers. That said, there are some known issues with some versions of Internet Explorer. If you encounter a problem and you are using IE you might try again with another browser. Please let us know when you encounter a problem so we can try to increase compatibility.

Click here to download free updates to the most Common browsers:

Google Chrome
Mozilla Firefox
Internet Explorer

Still stuck? Contact us here