1. SIMPLE ASSET MAPPING EXERCISE
Everyone has assets. Unfortunately, we learn ways to hide them so that they go unused and eventually they atrophy. The
more spiritual among us sometimes prefer to think about assets as “gifts” that fall into three general categories:
Gifts of the head – things you know about (birds, movies, art history)
Gifts of the hands – things you know how to do (carpentry, gardening, cooking)
Gifts of the heart – things you care deeply about (environment, education)
1. Identify five assets.
2. Print each asset on a separate index card.
3. Try to identify assets in multiple categories from the descriptions below
What are some gifts or assets you might take
What are some assets that allow you to
What are some assets you dislike, but rely
What did you used to be good at?
What are some assets you use only on
What are some “far-away” assets?
Surprising groups of people?
Professional contacts you can access
Skills you use in family life
What kinds of culture and recreation do you
What’s the craziest thing you do?
What’s the most unusual group in the
Talents, experience, perspectives and skills
What do you care about?
What do you know about?
What can you do?
Who do you know?
Be as specific as possible
Look for unique skills and knowledge
Formal or informal voluntary groups,
networks and organizations of individuals
who gather to do or enjoy something they
cannot do alone
What groups are you part of?
What groups do you know about?
Public and private
Businesses, nonprofit agencies, government,
What institutions do you do business with?
What institutions do you have something in
What is something you spend money on?
What’s something you make or do that
people would pay you for?
Where do you invest your money?
Unique economic assets to your
Things you can touch, see or feel
Natural resources, buildings, space,
Try to identify as many unique assets as
Adapted from the book The Power of Asset Mapping
by Luther K. Snow (ISBN: 156699294X)
2. For more information, updates on future related events, or to purchase the book (just $15.00!), please visit:
“This book is a treasure chest of experience and advice from the best theorists and practitioners in the field. Invaluable.”
- John McKnight, Co-Director, Asset Based Community Development Institute, Northwestern University
“Asset-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education represents an invaluable new resource for grassroots leaders
and university scholars committed to resident-led revitalization in distressed communities. It highlights an impressive set of town-
gown partnerships whose leaders have used Kretzmann and McKnight’s asset-based approach to community development to
transcend the formidable racial, class, religious, age, and gender barriers that often undermine efforts to build more equitable,
sustainable, and democratic communities. If you add just one volume to your engaged scholarship library this year – it
should be this book!”
- Kenneth M. Reardon, Professor in City and Regional Planning, The University of Memphis
“The experiences described in the essays and case studies in this book bring the principles of asset-based community
engagement to life. Many of us in the field espouse ABCD, but until now there has not been enough in our literature that really
demonstrates how its principles can be put into practice. The authors of the well-written essays and case studies in this book
generously share their successes, failures, and lessons they have learned in ways that encourage us to critically examine and
enhance our own practices. I found the book to be inspiring and also practical. It is an enjoyable read, too.”
-Barbara Jacoby, Faculty Associate, Leadership & Community Service-Learning, University of Maryland
A New Book from Minnesota Campus Compact
Contributing authors include:
Maria Avila, Atum Azzahir,
Richard Battistoni, Tara Bengle,
Rachel Cleaves, Jeff Corn, Mike
Green, Nicholas Longo, Carolyn
McAndrews, Keith Morton, Luther
K. Snow, Janni Sorensen, and
Byron P. White.