Tool No. 2: Asset Mapping

Nothing ensures the success of a program more than citizen participation in assessing their perceived needs, problems and hopes for the future. This resource can be used by program directors and consultants as they coordinate the community assessment process. Asset mapping focuses on the strengths of the community rather than the areas that need improvement.

Questions to ask while capacity mapping

Conducting interviews during community capacity mapping will help you collect information about the different associations, organizations, and relationships that exist in the community. What follows is a sample of the questions you can find out more about community assets.

Name:

Occupation:

Address:

Telephone Number:

Name of Organization:

Description:

Resources:

1. How many people are part of your organization?

  • Staff
  • Volunteers
  • Members or contributors
  • Board members
  • Clients

2. How often do your members gather? Do you gather outside of regular meetings?

3. What kind of funding does your organization have? Where else do you get support?

4. Where does your organization meet? What other spaces does your organization have access to?

5. What kind of equipment does your organization have access to?

  • Office?
  • Computer?
  • Audio-visual or video?
  • Computers?
  • Mechanical?
  • Other?

6. What kind of written media materials/newsletters does your organization have?

7. How does your organization keep its members up to date on activities and staff changes?

8. Which of your organization's resources would you be willing to make accessible to other community members?

9. What kinds of services does your organization provide to the community? How do you make these services known to the public? What kinds of projects are your organization involved in now? What has your organization accomplished thus far?

10. How many of your staff members live in the community served by your organization?

11. Where do you purchase your supplies and equipment, go for repair services, etc.?

12. What are your organization's most valuable resources and strongest assets?

13. What other organizations do you work with, personally? What other organizations does your group sponsor events with? Share information with? Share resources or equipment with?

14. Who else does work or provides similar services to the community as those provided by your organization?

15. Does your group belong to any other associations? What kinds of special events does your organization take part in?

16. What kind of associations or relationship does your organization have with local businesses and banks?

17. What other groups or sub-populations does your organization support or advocate for?

18. What kind of new projects would your organization be interested in taking on, directly related to your mission? Indirectly or outside of your mission?

19. What other projects or movements are you involved in that serve youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, the fine arts community, people receiving public assistance, immigrant or minority populations?

20. How feasible is it for your organization to get involved in more projects, more community development/health promotion efforts?

21. What kind of changes would you like to see in the community in the next five years? How would you effect these changes?

Here, you'll find a checklist summarizing the major points contained in the text.

Checklist

You understand that a community asset can be:

____A physical structure or place

____A business

____You

____Everyone living in the community

You understand why you should identify community assets:

___Because external resources aren't always available

___To enable residents to gain control over their lives

___For more effective and longer-lasting improvement efforts

You understand when you should identify community assets:

___When you don't know what those assets are

___When community member's talents are underutilized

___When you are unable to provide traditional services

___When you want to encourage pride and ownership among community members

___When you want to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones

You know how to identify community assets:

___You know the size of the community.

___You know who is available to do the work.

___You know how much time you have for the task.

___You know how much money is at your disposal.

___You have decided what you want to do with the results.

You understand how to identify the assets of groups:

___You have written what you know.

___You have added other sources of information to your list.

___You have refined and revised your list.

You understand how to identify the assets of individuals:

___You have answered the "starting questions."

___You have decided on the geographic area you want to cover.

___You have decided how many people you will ask.

___You have drafted some questions you want to ask.

___You have designed a method by which these questions can be asked.

___You have tried out questions on a sample group.

___You have collected your data.

___You understand how to map community assets.

You understand how you can use the assets you have identified:

___Target a particular area for development.

___Tackle a new project.

___Find new ways to bring groups together.

___Publicize the assets.

___Create a school curriculum.

___Consider creating a "community coordinator".

___Keep records.

___Set up a structured program for asset exchange.

___Establish a review process for assets.

"Tool No. 2: Asset Mapping." Developing a Plan for Identifying Local Needs and Resources. Community Toolbox. University of Kansas. n.d. English.

Last Reviewed: November 2008

Last Updated: August 10, 2015