Top 9 Social Capital Blog Posts of 2013

The approaching new year is a nice time to pause and reflect about the past year. We try to use our blog to highlight important developments related to the broader concept of social capital and to share best practices that emerge from our work in local communities. With that in mind, we offer some of the best and hopefully most helpful blog posts we shared over the course of 2013. Stay tuned for a post on some of our programmatic highlights of the year. Though "top 10 lists" are popular, we thought we'd keep our list to nine, and ask: "What would you add for a 10th post that you saw this year having to do with a social capital?"

Building Social Capital for Youth Success and Healthy Communities Provides background on the strategic plan focus we adopted earlier in 2013. In addition to targeting our social capital building to address two key issues, the plan has an ambitious growth target to serve 30 New England communities.

50 More Ways to Build Social Capital Based on their experience, at one of our AmeriCorps training days our group brainstormed a great list of practical ideas for building social capital. The idea was to build on the suggestions offered in the Better Together list of 150 Things You Can Do To Build Social Capital. 

Answering the Call to Service In a year of significant anniversaries, post explores the links between President Kennedy's call to service through the Peace Corps and today's AmeriCorps program. Young people played a key role in both programs!

7 Benefits for Nonprofits Using Social Media We wind up doing a fair amount of training on how nonprofits can use social media effectively. We focus largely on how it can be used to build relationships, and how that focus can beget success. Our follow-up post, 4 Keys to Nonprofit Social Media Success, is also worth checking out if you're interested in this subject.

Getting Engaged and Connected: Lessons From Somerville SCI's Dan McConvey explores how his community of Somerville is making use of technology and strategic community outreach to foster engagement. On a related note, we were happy to have Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone on our Social Capital Forum panel this past May.

11 Must-Read Articles on Social Capital, Networks and Wellness If you're not sure why we've included health as one of our focus areas, check out a few of these articles showing a strong link between social capital, networks and wellness outcomes! Health is perhaps the issue area with the greatest abundance of data linking social networks and health outcomes. With health reform driving significant change in this area, there is a big need for a focus on social capital as part of a holistic approach to community health.

How Photography Can Build Community One of our AmeriCorps members shares how her love of photography can be used as a great community building tool.

3 Ways Foundations Can Leverage Grantee Networks I managed to get dug out from one of Boston's biggest snowfalls ever in order to attend the Knight Foundation's Media Learning Seminar, focusing on the role foundations can play in creating a healthy flow of civic information. Most of the attendees were from foundations, so I wrote this post from the perspective of a community nonprofit and how such organizations can partner with foundations to create a healthy info ecosystem.

Social Capital and Resilience Early in 2013, Hurrican Sandy and Newtown were fresh on people's minds, especially in the Northeast. This led to a number of articles about the role social capital plays in fostering resilience, which can be particularly helpful to draw upon in times of crisis. Our post recaps some of this work.

Please share in the comments what you'd add to the list! If you'd like to turn the page back a bit, check out our top posts from 2012 here.