Asset-Based Community Development is:
- Rooted in the strengths, talents, gifts, capitals, and assets of individuals, groups, and communities. We need to have the vision to see, sense, identify the assets.
- It’s an inside-out approach – mapping, tracking, and inventorying the assets
- Driven by relationships – connecting, mobilizing, and leveraging
There are many groups of assets to inventory and assess:
- Individual: Peoples’ strengths, skills, knowledge, passions, skills, interests, and creativity. What people know, can do, and care enough about to be able share with others. Gifts of the head (knowledge), heart (passion), and hands (skills).
Key questions: What do you know, do, and care enough about that you are able share with others. What are your gifts of the head (knowledge), heart (passion), and hands (skills)?
What do you want to learn?
What’s your history?
What have you learned from your experiences?
- Social: Meaningful and resourceful relationships, networks, families, and groups. Collaboration works at the speed of trust. Good communication is everything.
Who are your people?
How are you involved in your community?
- Cultural: What are the various past and existing cultural traditions, customs, ideas, behaviors, and practices – the ways of doing, being, and seeing the world?
Note: For an asset-based approach to congregational exegesis – gather the stories and the oral histories, review archival materials, demographics, trends, architecture, arts, and rituals – how folks live into the liturgical calendar and the seasons, as well as the past, present, planned, and dreamed about events, activities, and ministries.
What have you mapped and identified?
What do you need to do and learn?
Who do you want to learn from?
- Natural: Environmental, ecological, and watershed literacy.
Where do you feel a sense of place?
Where, what places, do you want a stronger relationship?
- Built: Housing stock. Community and common spaces. Libraries. Congregational spaces for existing and potential ministries. What about spaces, such as meditation and study rooms, commercial kitchens, and bathrooms the community could access?
Name the important places and spaces to you and why they’re important.
Where are the community gathering places?
- Political and Institutional: The existing stock of goodwill, influence, and power that people, organizations, and institutions in the congregation, community, district, and region can leverage or exercise in decision making. Public sector (government), private sector (business), and civic sector (social, cultural, and philanthropic organizations, issue-based and place-based nonprofits, and faith communities).
What are your connections and networks?
What connections do you want to develop?
- Financial: Ownership. Assets. Debt. Equity. Income. Expenses. Credit. What are the community investments? What are the sources of revenue and jobs? Where and how do folks and groups spend money? Is the budgeting process participatory?