WHAT? Maps are most often understood as tools that help us navigate and understand our position in the world. For an organization, an Asset Map represents relationships and opportunities and helps tell your
organization’s history (and future!).
Asset Mapping is the deliberate process of synthesizing organizational resources – networks, people, links, and patterns – in order to build on
what’s working and address challenges.
WHY? The information generated from Asset Mapping can be used in a variety of ways, for example:
+ Awareness and marketing — promotion of assets and services to stakeholders and potential stakeholders
+ Economic development — information to leverage growth in expanding and development
+ Planning and policy — inform municipal decision-making related to land use, social planning, community amenities and infrastructure
+ Networks and collaboration — information to connect cultural groups
HOW? Steps to Asset Mapping
Step 1: Brainstorm – Bring your team together for a brainstorming session. Be sure to invite stakeholders who have specific experience and knowledge
of your organization/ the need you are addressing.
Step 2: Refine – Gather your team to review the outcomes of the brainstorm. The brainstormed list of ideas will give your team members a better sense
of where to look and what to look for when creating a formal asset map.
Step 3: Create – Gather your team to create a visual representation of all the community assets you identified (WOO HOO!). Make it fun and motivating!
This visual representation could take many forms. Here are a few popular
• A giant asset LIST with items categorized into “people, places, groups, events and items.”
• A giant DIAGRAM of concentric circles of influence, with assets written in the appropriate circle.
• A geographical MAP of the community your organization serves (or is in), with a sticker or number where assets exist and a corresponding list of
Step 4: Maintain – Take a step back and celebrate your asset map. You generated a large list of people, places, groups, events and items that can
contribute to your organizations success! Just like you update project
plans and mission statements it is important to periodically review and
update your asset map. Assess and identify the ways that you can use
community assets in the next phase of your organizational development.
Continually add new assets to your map — it is a work in progress!
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1. By Jessica Solomon for Spark Creativity.
2. A hyperlink to my website, www.sparkcreativity.info