Social capital is defined as connections among diverse people or groups, based on trust, that enhance cooperation for mutual benefit. Those who build social capital possess a unique set of skills and attitudes that enable them to collaborate effectively, make connections between diverse sectors, bridge differences and nurture social networks to make a difference.
Building social capital takes two forms, bonding or bridging. Bonding social capital builds relationships and networks among people who are like each other. Bridging social capital builds relationships and networks among people who are unlike each other. Both are important and can be channeled to make positive impact in communities and bring people together around community needs, issues and opportunities.
Although only a few of us were on stage to get a photo with the big ($2,500!) check, it’s a shared award with anyone who has shared their thoughts at a discussion group, connected at a Brew Gooders, asked a question at a professional development event, authored a guest blog post — you get the picture! It’s because of our members that we’re able to bring people together.
This week, looking through the first batch of 2015 survey responses (you can still take it here!), we realized what this group has meant and done for so many people. Here are a few excerpted responses: