Institute on Assets and Social Policy

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Strategic Planning and Organizational Development

In a complex and quickly changing economic and political landscape, advancing effective and sustainable asset formation programs and policies requires organizations to think strategically and collaboratively over the long term. Drawing on its expertise and long experience in policy research and program management, and its strong relationships with stakeholder organizations, the Institute helps strengthen and expand the work of our partners through assistance with strategic program planning and organizational development. We collaborate with community-based organizations, constituency groups, foundations, state bodies, and coalitions of asset development organizations. Our current efforts are focused in two areas:

Strengthening State Asset Initiatives

With support from the Hyams Foundation, the Institute has worked closely with key Massachusetts organizations and constituencies to launch the legislatively created Massachusetts Asset Development Commission, which has recommended promising policy and programmatic changes to move families up the economic ladder. (See the final report of the Massachusetts Asset Development Commission, Asset Development: Removing Barriers, Building Futures, June 2009.) At the national level, IASP's analysis of State and City Asset Building Initiatives (2008) outlines the formation activities and strategic steps that organizations across the country have adopted to pursue an asset policy agenda in their cities or states.

Most recently, the Institute has also been engaged by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to support the development and implementation of the State Asset Learning Project. The leaders of ten statewide coalitions are working with IASP and other research partners to analyze the effectiveness of practices and strategies in their states and help inform state and local asset-building activities across the country.

Building Resilient Asset Development Organizations

IASP's new project, "From Shock to Structure: Meeting New Human Service Needs Through Asset Building," funded by the Kresge Foundation and conducted in collaboration with the Heller School's Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy, will strategically support and position an important new conversation on the role of foundations and human service organizations in asset building. This collaborative initiative will explore how different vulnerable populations and human service organizations are being affected by and are managing in the new economy, and will identify asset-based policy, institutional and programmatic responses that may improve security, stability and well-being. An important outcome of this work is to better understand how to create and support greater organizational resiliency to meet changing constituent needs, either directly or through new forms of partnership and network activity.

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