Three woman smiling togetherExamples of Social Capital

Social capital is the value that comes from social networks, or groupings of people, which allow individuals to achieve things they couldn't on their own. Below are some of the ways that social capital can benefit communities. What are some examples from your own community?

Sharing information and resources

  • You tell your neighbor about the delicous new pizza place downtown.
  • A group of coworkers discuss weather forecasts over coffee.
  • Door-to-door volunteers explain a candidate's platform.
  • A neighborhood builds a community garden together using shared tools.

Providing assistance

  • A next-door neighbor comes over to help you dig your car out of the snow.
  • A group of cancer survivors form an online support group together.
  • People drop their change into a charity donation jar at the checkout counter.
  • A church holds a garage sale to raise money for a local homeless shelter.

Establishing trust

  • A stranger returns your wallet after finding it in a restaurant.
  • Two parents of Little Leaguers wave to one another on the street.
  • A group of bowlers laugh together during their league game.
  • A neighbor calls the police when she sees your kitchen light turn on while you're on vacation.