ABHMS-awarded grant helps nonprofit organization refine asset-mapping tool

Imagine that your church wants to tackle the problem of food insecurity in its region. One of the first steps would be to investigate and discover places in the area that could help, such as food pantries and school-based meal programs as well as farmers and restaurants with surplus to share. The church might also want to find organizations that could transport the food as well as nutritional experts who could help community members make healthy food choices.

Thanks to a Mission Partner Grant awarded by American Baptist Home Mission Societies, the Cary, N.C.-based nonprofit organization Sympara Inc. was able to refine its Web-based app, which, according to its website, “helps community leaders identify, map and connect resources to solve problems.”

Also called Sympara, the app “helps community members think about the variety of resources and range of assets that need to be marshalled,” says Daniel Pryfogle, co-founder and CEO of Sympara Inc.

The ABHMS grant allowed the tool to be redesigned based on feedback provided during the testing phase, he says. Now the app is being used in communities nationwide. In fact, the food insecurity scenario shared above is based on the actions of community members in the small town of Erwin, N.C.

Currently underway is a mapping project for three rural North Carolina counties that are trying to deal with community fragility, or the need for survival basics, such as food, shelter, health care and mental health services. The issue came to light when clergy in the three counties reported an increase in the number of people seeking assistance from churches.

After receiving the grant, Pryfogle presented about the theory and practice of asset mapping to participants in ABHMS’ Co-Creators Incubator program. He also aided one project in particular by providing one-on-one coaching.

“Because of ABHMS’ investment in Sympara, we are able to help communities nationwide marshal their resources toward flourishing,” Pryfogle says. “I’m so grateful for the grant.”