Saturday, January 10, 2009

Find the Hidden Gold | Using Social Capital in Tough Times

Allison Fine, my frolleague (friend and colleague) has completed another podcast in her Social Good series with the Chronicle of Philanthropy. This time, she talks to super smart cookies Katya Andresen and Lucy Bernholz about leveraging the social vs. financial capital of our donors in tough economic times. Check it out!

I have to admit, I didn't know the definition of social capital. Here is what I learned via a Google search.

"Social capital is an economic idea that refers to the connections between individuals and entities that can be economically valuable. Social networks that include people who trust and assist each other can be a powerful asset. These relationships between individuals and firms can lead to a state in which each will think of the other when something needs to be done. Along with economic capital, social capital is a valuable mechanism in economic growth."

  • When your current patron gives you a "lead" on a new donor, that is social capital in action.
  • When your friend introduces you to your (soon to be) boss, that is social capital in action.
  • When a volunteer suggests a new operating procedure that saves you money, that is social capital in action.
It makes A LOT of sense to nurture and use your network in bad and good times in order to achieve greater personal and organizational success. In other words, find the hidden gold.

What projects do you need to accomplish next year? How can you use social vs. financial capital to help?

Every organization, even the smallest and poorest has social capital. It's your job to find the connections that ALREADY exist within your network and work them!

Good luck!


By the by, Allison, Katya, Lucy and I (Marketing for Nonprofits was just picked up!) write top nonprofit blogs according to Alltop - an online magazine rack that aggregates feeds for the best websites and blogs by topic. Peruse today!

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