To successfully harness the assets of a community, NORC programs can start by identifying two broad categories of resources:
1. Individuals and organizations—The people who live in the community and the organizations that serve it often play critical roles.
2. Infrastructure—The physical infrastructure of the community, including schools, health care facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, and libraries, is more than just “bricks and mortar”; it is often a valuable asset to a NORC program.
Mapping these resources is a great way to create a visual portrait of the community and what it can mean to a NORC program. Resource mapping can help generate interest among stakeholders to better understand their community and can empower them to participate in decision-making processes. The NORC Blueprint offers the following guide to map the resources in your community.
Community Mapping Guide (PDF File, 19KB)
Click here to read about one community’s experience with using community mapping as an early step in planning its neighborhood NORC program.
The following are additional asset-mapping resources that may be helpful:
The Asset-Based Community Development Institute:
Introduction to Asset Mapping
Identifying Secondary Sources
Center for Applied Rural Innovation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:
“Vitalizing Communities” Building on Assets and Mobilizing for Collective Action
Mapping the Assets of Your Community: A Key Component for Building Local Capacity