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ASSET MAPPING

Simply put, asset mapping consists of documenting tangible and intangible resources that are available in a community (Kretzman & McKnight, 1993). Asset mapping is a simple but powerful activity for a nonprofit organization. Kerka (2003) explained that in asset mapping, a community is perceived as a place that includes strengths and resources, rather than through deficits that require intervention. Recognizing the assets available in a community is a powerful statement that can inspire community collaboration or even commitment to the vision and mission of a nonprofit organization.

TYPES OF ASSETS

Assets can be individuals (e.g., skills, talents, gifts, and capacities), associations (e.g., churches, local organizations, groups, and clubs), and institutions (e.g., government agencies, human service agencies, educational institutions, hospitals, credit unions, banks, community foundations, businesses, corporate foundations, and community centers) that are potential sources of in-kind and/or financial contributions for a nonprofit organization (Figure 5.1).

Individual Assets

Individual assets are individuals in the immediate environment of your organization who possess knowledge, information, ideas, leadership, money, gifts, skills, networks, talents, and capacities that they can make available to benefit your organization. An active or retired bank executive, a retired police officer, military service member, school principal, school teacher, college professor, or accountant constitute examples of individual assets.

Types of assets.

FIGURE 5.1 Types of assets.

All these individuals have one thing in common: experiences, skills, knowledge, information, networks, or even money that they can contribute to a nonprofit organization.

Associational Assets

Associational assets are citizens' associations, groups, clubs, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, local radio and TV stations, local newspapers, and other local gatherings that exist in the neighborhood of your organization that can potentially be used in support of your programs or activities.

Institutional Assets

Institutional assets are well-established organizations or institutions (e.g., government agencies, human service agencies, offices of elected officials, educational institutions, hospitals, credit unions, banks, libraries, museums, theaters, community foundations, businesses, corporate foundations, and community centers) that conduct business in the local community of a nonprofit organization, which carry opportunities (e.g., facilities, equipment, following, revenue, and experts) that serve as potential sources of in-kind and/or financial contributions.

ASSET-MAPPING PROCESS

The asset-mapping process includes identification, location, verification, documentation, and compilation (Figure 5.2).

Identification

Community asset mapping starts with the identification of potential assets (Box 5.1). As indicated in previous paragraphs, the term asset refers to people, associations, and institutions within a community that can potentially contribute money, knowledge, time, ideas, information, facilities, and any other resources that can further the vision and mission of a

Asset-mapping process.

FIGURE 5.2 Asset-mapping process.

BOX 5.1 IDENTIFICATION OF ASSETS

Identification of Assets

Individual

Associational

Institutional

Asset 1

Asset 2

Asset 3

Asset 4

nonprofit organization. The identification of assets should be guided by an organizational needs assessment. This will ensure that community resources can be tailored to help primarily meet the needs of local individuals or families.

 
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