Neighborhood Assets

Hand in hand with a community needs assessment is an assessment of your community's assets. In identifying your community's strengths, you can then work with the community in carrying out your initiative and may get more community buy in. Some potential community assets are listed below. Most people make no distinction between government, nonprofit, and business resources, so think broadly!

  • What places are available for the performing arts, visual arts, sports, meetings, festivals, or just hanging out?
  • Outdoor Places: Parks, playgrounds, sports fields and courts, community pools, community gardens, vacant lots (which might be turned into useful space)
  • Indoor Public Spaces: Churches, schools, community centers, cafes, recreation centers, arts centers, libraries, museums, centers for youth or seniors, clubhouses of fraternal organizations (if publicly available)
  • Special tools (lawnmowers, etc.) or skills (from plumbing to how to use Facebook or make a movie) neighbors are willing to share with each other
  • Events: Community parties, festivals, “Sunday dinners at the pool”
  • Other buildings: fire department, police station
  • Resources

  • The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern Univ. offers a variety of excellent resources.
  • An excellent starting point is "Mapping Community Capacity" available at
  • The site has a video training program as well as an example of a capacity inventory.
  • Beyond Needs Assessments: Identifying a Community's Resources and Hopes emphasizes a broad approach to "listening before serving," and also includes a variety of links.
  • Community Connections provides a community asset mapping tool for a fee.

  • Added 05/12/2010 by asblackwood, Modified 08/02/2010 by tpollak


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