Developing the Asset Map

Online Platform Recommendations

The ultimate goal of this project was to develop a user-friendly online platform that philanthropic organizations could utilize to locate Native-led programs that fit their funding criteria. Such a tool would be a unique search engine in the world of philanthropy and could assist in making connections between the on-the-ground efforts of Native-serving projects across Indian Country and the funders who can help support and sustain that important work.

As part of IFAI's role in developing this asset map and online platform, we researched existing asset map tools for other communities to see what models might work for this particular project. Ultimately, while there are some stunning examples of asset mapping that have been done in neighborhoods, cities, and states around the country, the tools we located during our research efforts were less useful for funders, who need access to quick, accurate information about the work included in the online tool. This information also needs to be easily accessible on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets, and the existing asset maps we researched did not have this key functionality.

Our recommendations for this online platform therefore focus on an easy-to-access, searchable online database. By utilizing a well-indexed and robust keyword search system, such a tool would be streamlined enough for mobile access while still providing funders with quick, verified information about programs that might fit within their funding goals. IFAI recommends that the platform be searchable by the following categories to maximize funders' ability to locate relevant information expeditiously: keyword, tribal lands, regions (Bureau of Indian Affairs regions), audience served, and overall programmatic category (Enhancing Community and Economic Development; Advancing Health Equity; Increasing Access to Healthy/Traditional Food; Developing Policies to Support Health Equity). Visually, programs appearing in the search would pop up as displayed in the Quapaw Nation example below.