Resources on Community Asset Mapping
Related Community Mobilizing Programs
by Sandy Gill, formerly of Northwest Regional Facilitators
2001; Updated 2004
Hopefully this collection will be the
beginning of building a set of resources for you to use as you explore
ways to involve your community in building its future. You’ll find a
mixture of examples, approaches and techniques that people are using
across the nation (and in other countries as well). As you continue to
use these (as we do), you’ll find them to be fluid sites that change
as the group learns and adapts what they do. Enjoy.
Research: Asset-Based Community Development Institute
has a range of resource options to explore. They also host a sub-site
about The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD). It
describes this program and includes a list of publications such as the
Capacity Inventory that you can copy and use.
Building Resources, Community Development, Asset Mapping
folks are a small 5-year-old business based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
and practice the philosophy of Asset-based Community Building. They say
they work with both urban and rural communities. This site:
the ways they apply this approach including community research
and workshops on the technique.
a resources section where you can print off summaries of some of
their reports or order publications that have more detail. Two
a "Listen and Learn" piece where they did following
with their "community partners" to see what was
happening. The summaries of what they found out are on their
a summary of the model they use
are two examples of what communities did with this approach.
Capacity Study Summary Results
summary describes a Canadian effort about this town on Prince Edward
Island. In 1996 they surveyed people, organizations, and businesses, and
share their results. There’s also a contact person. And you can look
at their asset map.
the SPICE of Whitecourt
group from Whitecourt, a community in Alberta, Canada also brought
together people, organizations, and businesses using the S.P.I.C.E.
aspects of life approach. It also included an asset map that didn’t
print off very well but did illustrate how they presented what they came
folks in Longmont Colorado created a Neighborhood Asset Building Kit in
preparation for Y2K through their Neighborhood Resources program. The
current contact isn’t familiar with this document. However, they have
a Handbook for Better Neighborhoods. Though clearly geared to a city
environment, you may get some ideas from it.
most recent contact is: Jon_Clarke@ci.longmont.co.us
Time Dollar Network
project where a resident and trade a unit of skill that s/he has for
another skill s/he doesn’t have. They call the program an exchange of
"service" credits among neighbors and friends. They give
examples and the demographics for what’s occurred in their community.
contact is ROSE Community Development Program in Portland, Oregon. They
have a program that is called Time Traders. Their address is 7211 SE
62nd, Portland, OR 97266 The telephone number is (503) 788-8052.
Assets Network (CAN)
is a grassroots nonprofit network of citizens and organizations that
promote the integration and successful use of asset-based strategies for
community development. The "asset approach" uses the resources
and assets of individuals, organizations and communities as the building
blocks of successful health promotion strategies. They describe their
partnership approach: http://www.ctassets.org/partner/index.cfm
also house a library that includes listings of key internet sites
relevant to asset-based community development, AV materials, books,
journals, and Library Reading Room of the Connecticut Assets Network
contains Adobe Acrobat files that cover a variety of topics including
asset building tools, presentation materials, research and stories.
conducted an ambitious effort over the last 2-3 years to create
community access locations throughout Canada. On this site you can find
documentation about what they did and what’s involved to get connected
to an effort like this.
about the national network of Neighborhood Works organizations who form
local partnerships among residents, business leaders, and local
government officials. The resources page provides publications, web site
links and searchable databases.
with Ideas, Techniques and Philosophies
Workshop: Asset Building Community Development
description of a publication titled, A Guide to Evaluating Asset-Based
Community Development: Lessons, Challenges, and Opportunities by Thomas
Dewar, 1997. The Institute for Policy Research (IPR) hosts this site.
U.S. Prices (including shipping and handling): $9.00 per book. Canada:
add $3 per book (for shipping and handling).
ORDER: Exclusive distributor: ACTA Publications; 4848 North Clark
Street; Chicago, IL 60640; Phone: 1-800-397-2282 or 773-271-1030
Community Tool Box
is a section of the Rural Enterprise Zone/ Enterprise Community web
site, which highlights the 4 key concepts behind what they are trying to
do. While many of their links are the same as in other rural web sites,
there are some new ones being added all the time. http://www.ezec.gov/toolbox/
Check out the
"What’s New" section to find out what new contacts they’ve
Since several NW communities have been
designated as Rural Enterprise Community, their efforts may serve as a
resource for what other rural communities are doing. The section of the
site below lists all the communities and gives a report on their
communities with home pages can be found on this section:
Rural Development Center (WRDC)
purpose of this group is to strengthen rural families, communities, and
businesses by facilitating rural development research and extension
(outreach) projects cooperatively with universities and communities.
Their programs may provide some potential assistance to your region.
They provide an online publication called
"The Western by Design Resource Toolkit," an assessment and planning
tool for small communities. See Publications for more information on
this and other publications they offer.
for Applied Rural Innovation
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this group focuses on
strengthening Nebraska communities. While most of the site is either
research oriented or tied with specific projects they do, some of their
projects might be ideas that can be adapted to fit other purposes. For
example, the Rural Voices project. A slide presentation and paper
presented in Australia in 2000 gives another view of their approach. You
might get ideas about contacts or projects from this presentation. http://www.ianr.unl.edu/rural/canberrapresentation.pdf
Heartland Center for Leadership Development
group strives to develop local leadership that responds to the
challenges of the future. One of their major activities is practical
resources and public policies for rural community survival. They have
online access to learning opportunities and other programs that serve
rural communities. The publication list also looks really useful –
community assessments, survival strategies, leadership development, etc.
BC, Canada created a Guide to Building Community in Vancouver. Though
written for a large city there are sections that may give ideas to
smaller communities. There’s some basic stuff about Community
Organizing and some of the activities that currently exist in Vancouver
that help folks build a sense of community. Some may be adapted to
out of the University of Kansas, this site provides an on-site manual of
ideas for building healthy communities. While it’s a pretty structured
approach, you can scan the chapters to find ideas that may apply to your
efforts. For example, there’s a Troubleshooting guide for common
challenges that can occur while creating community change efforts.
Sites that may trigger some ideas
for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis
Building and Community Development are areas of interest for this
academic program. They have an International focus that features
programs such as matched savings accounts for low-income families.
Abstracts from presentations at the Inclusion in Asset Building:
Research and Policy Symposium in September, 2000
interesting concept…Social Compact promotes successful business
investment in undervalued communities for the benefit of current
residents. Though this group says they work with Inner-city
Neighborhoods, the concept may have potential in smaller towns. Also the
list of partners that make up social compact may give you idea for
sources of support who believe in strengthening neighborhoods.
part of an earlier edition their web site that I found interesting was
the list of winners of their award process. Though the current web site
doesn’t have this feature, looking over this list may give you other
ideas for folks who might be good contacts for you.
public policy organization whose aim is sustainable development. Though
much of their site is pretty academic, some of the concepts might be
useful. For example, the "Compendium of SD (Sustainable
Development) Indicator Initiatives has an interesting graphic that shows
Selected Examples of Indicators such as Economic, Environmental and
There’s also a Community Indicators
Projects Directory a database directory that includes over 150 community
indicator projects from around the United States, including several
local, international projects.
tool featured is a way to determine your ecological footprint by
answering 13 easy questions. This has evolved since 2001. New
versions and similar tools are available under the tabs for Projects and
Stories: Building Community by Improving Communication
is an approach more than a "toolbox" resource. The concept is
that the stories we tell and the ways we tell them have a lot to do with
life in a community. The main report is the result of research done in
the Puget Sound area, but the lessons drawn from this project have
applications in other regions. There may be some ideas you can draw
Contacts to exchange ideas with
of these sites have contact names within the site description listed
above or within the web site itself. There are also a few we’ve added
to the collection when we found a name that seemed to be knowledgeable
or have experience in one of the areas. Since there’s a diversity of
ideas, each person may be able to give a view on their experience wit
what they’ve been doing.
Edgar Cahn, Time Dollars Institute, Box
42160, Washington DC 20015, (202)537-5033, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana McCourt, Womanshare, 680 West End
Ave., New York, NY 10025, (212)662-9746, email@example.com
Local Employment & Trading Systems
(LETS) Contact: Michael Linton, Landsman Associates, 479 - 4th St.,
Courtenay, BC V9N 1G9, CANADA, (604) 338-0213; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Susan Witt, E.F. Schumacher Society,
140 Jug End Road, Great Barrington MA 01230, (413) 528-1737, email@example.com,
These came from a feature report on
community currencies and trading systems by Tim Cohen-Mitchell in the
issue #2 of New Village Journal.
in Spokane has an interesting program that might be worth looking at:
might have heard about a program operated by Ray Lancaster called the
Microenterprise Development program. SNAP has developed a program to
help "would-be entrepreneurs learn how to take an idea into a
business plan. While this is an urban program, a rural community may be
able to adapt the concept.
456-7111 Ext 227 Fax (509) 534-5874
& Updated by:
Northwest Nonprofit Resources
PO Box 9066
Spokane, WA 99209
April, 2001; 2004