A Profile Of A Local Community-Based Organization

Letter To A Non-Profit Board
This week, we have introduced social capital and why it is important in our society. Assume that you have been hired as a consultant for a local community-based organization. After a month-long observation period, one of your recommendations is to increase social capital. Write a letter to the organization’s board of directors explaining your recommendation and why social capital is a critical aspect of any organization. Integrate personal experiences and suggest creative ways to increase social capital.

use the organization Kids IN Needs of Defense The web site is: https://supportkind.org)


Introduction: Social Capital and Community Organizations

So far in the class, we’ve defined organizations and community. We’ve thought about how sociological paradigms relate to community organizations and that theory is the basis for research. Next, we discussed research and the distinction between quantitative and qualitative studies. We took this conversation a bit further and then saw how community-based organizations can be driven by research and the important role of applied sociologists in helping assess and evaluate programs and community.

Now, we’re going to move forward and talk about social capital. In our modern society, we are all connected to one another. With the Industrial Age and the decrease of agriculture, people began to live closer to each other. Our networks grew and we saw the importance of these relationships that existed outside of the family. Social capital is a relatively new term that explores the value of these relationships.

Consider, for example, that you are looking for a new job now that you have graduated with your master’s degree. You are interested in working for a community organization. Where would you start your job search? Often, we start with the internet, but then we move on and think of people we know. You may call your cousin, who works for the local county. She may refer you to a friend, who works for a youth-oriented nonprofit, who then asks you to come in and talk about your ideas and expertise. Perhaps this meeting will lead to a job, or to a referral to another organization! This network is valuable; social capital is a powerful concept that continues to grow with the increased use of social media and the multiple ways that people are connected to one another.

Community-based organizations rely on social capital. From fundraising to employment to best meeting a community’s needs, organizations must consider how to grow their networks and how to keep these networks valuable. Think about some ways that you are connected to others, even if you do not consider these people close friends. How many people do you “know?”

“ You are the sum total of the people you meet and interact with in the world. Whether it’s your family, peers, or co-workers, the opportunities you have and the things that you learn all come through doors that other people open for you. (205) ”

– Tanner Colby, Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America



Required Text

McKnight, J. & McKnight Plummer, J. (2015). Community organizing: Theory and practice . Retrieved from https://redshelf.com Chapter 5: The Community Organizing Cycle Chapter 10: Organizational Structures, Budgeting, and Funding

Required References

Condeluci, A. (2013). Social capital and the power of relationships: Al Condeluci at TEDxGrandviewAve [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.tedxgrandviewave.com/portfolio/al-condeluci/ (Links to an external site.)

Falk, I. (2000). Human capital and social capital: What’s the difference? Adult Learning Commentary, 28(18). https://www.ala.asn.au/public/commentaries/Falk1810.pdf

Gamarnikov, E. (2011). Social capital and human capital. Encyclopedia of Community.2003. Sage Publications. http://studysites.sagepub.com/healeyregc6e/study/chapter/encycarticles/ch02/GAMARN~1.PDF

Pawar, M. (2006). “Social” “capital”? The Social Science Journal, 43(2), 211-226. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2006.02.002

Forrest, R., & Kearns, A. (2001). Social cohesion, social capital and the neighbourhood. Urban Studies, 38(12), 2125-2143. doi:10.1080/00420980120087081

Recommended References

Cabrera, J. (2014). Building social capital: Joseph Cabrera at TEDxScranton [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaHsd4SmoDM (Links to an external site.)

Woolcock, M., & Narayan, D. (2000). Social capital. World Bank Research Observer, 15(2), 225-249. doi:10.1093/wbro/15.2.225

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