Neighbors Program

neighbors_logo_web_verNeighbors is our program to activate existing community plans.  There are many reasons why a good neighborhood improvement plan may end up sitting on the shelf: it lacks a clear implementation strategy; it requires a more detailed design to apply for funding; or issues of ownership and organizational capacity hinders moving forward.

By partnering with community-based organizations, community members and other non-profits, we will provide technical assistance needed to build community capacity and achieve project implementation.

Who should apply?

A community that has completed a plan within the last five years but has not seen the hoped-for improvements. Community members may apply, but involvement with at least one non-profit or community based organization is highly recommended. We are currently accepting applications from communities in Texas, Louisiana, and Southern California.

What are the expected outcomes?

We will work with applicants to strengthen proposed projects in their community plan and identify the critical steps toward project implementation. Example outcomes might include project design, the identification of funding resources, implementation partners, or the creation of an entity necessary to take the plan forward. There are three primary stages in this process:

Evaluate & Cooperate

Our team will begin by reviewing the existing plan, update the targeted project with current ground conditions, and interview major stakeholders to assess capacity to achieve results. This will allow our team to draft a roadmap to implementation.

Educate & Empower

Through stakeholder and community workshops, we will revisit proposed project, discuss it’s strengths and weaknesses, and explore potential design solutions. Our team will utilize this community feedback to finalize a design and assess funding sources.

Call to Action

Finally, we will work with stakeholders to create a detailed implementation plan, and can be available to help community leaders take the next steps toward implementation. This assistance could include drafting grant requests, helping create fundraising campaigns, or providing community trainings.

What are the costs?

Communities are asked to raise between $5,000 and $10,000 to contribute to the program. Asakura Robinson will match this funding 1:1 with a pro-bono contribution.

So exactly how much consultant time is that?

Our in-kind contribution amounts to roughly 200 to 400 hours of our team’s time.

Why are there costs?

We’ve found in the past that involving some costs in our community programs leads to clearer accountability, communication and responsibility between the community and the Asakura Robinson team.

The funding also allows us to provide more services to communities than would otherwise be possible. In addition to enhancing the amount of time we can devote, it helps covers overhead costs such as printing, food and drinks for workshops, and any other costs involved in preparing the implementation strategy.

How do we apply?

Interested communities should submit the following materials to Asakura Robinson:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. General Description of Community Organization (250 Word Limit)
    1. Provide information on the organization’s mission, goals, structure, and background
    2. Identify additional organizations/entities that would also participate
  3. Community Background & General Information (500 Word Limit)
    1. Where is the community located? What are its boundaries?
    2. What is the general make-up of the community? Its population? Demographics? Housing?
    3. What are the community’s key assets (culture, history, diversity)
  4. Project/Plan Background (500 Word Limit)
    1. When was the plan made?
    2. What was the vision of the plan? What were its goals? (ie. what did the community hope to achieve?)
    3. What are the current challenges and barriers to implementation? How have these challenges affected the community?
    4. What objectives have been identified for the Neighbors Program? What does your community hope to accomplish? What type of work has been identified to complete the program? Do you anticipate any additional scopes of work, outside of those listed in the original plan?
    5. Is there any additional information that you would like to discuss?
  5. Key personnel (300 Word Limit)
    1. Describe key persons to be involved and description of how organizations, entities, communities will interact with Asakura Robinson.
  6. Project Cost & Funding
    1. Describe funding that is currently in place for this effort, and/or fundraising strategies to raise $5,000-$10,000 in matching funds.
  7. Copy of Plan & Other Relevant Documents

Deadlines & Submission

Applications are accepted four times per year. Please submit your application by February 1st, May 1st, August 1st, or November 1st. 

Applications may be submitted electronically to Zakcq Lockrem at zakcq@asakurarobinson.com or by mail to 1911 Rio Grande Austin, TX 78705. You will be contacted for follow up within two weeks of your submission.

We are happy to discuss details of the Neighborhs Program further with interested applicants to help determine the feasibility of the projects prior to application deadlines.

Questions?

Email zakcq@asakurarobinson.com or contact us at 512.351.9601.

Download the program flyer here.