Building Social (and Financial) Capital in the Rural Environment


Presented by: S. Kimberly Jones, GPC

2017 Annual Conference
San Diego, California
November 2017

Product Description

Furthering development in the rural environment is often a difficult challenge due to a multitude of barriers, including unwillingness of community members to work together, even when collaboration for grant funding is required. This session will assist grant and development professionals in strengthening competencies of cultivating and maintaining relationships in rural communities by outlining the concept of social capital and its relationship to collaboration. In addition strategies that result in community agency partnerships will also be identified and reinforced through a social capital building exercise. The session is constructed as follows:

What is Social Capital?

The various types of social capital will be outlined and explained, including:

  • public vs. private
  • formal
  • bonding vs. bridging
  • strong vs. weak ties.

Why is Social Capital Important?  

The societal elements social capital impacts will be outlined and explained, including:

  • trust
  • social support
  • integration
  • cohesion 
  • leadership
  • team building
  • reciprocity

What Can Social Capital Mean For Rural Communities? 

The primary community elements strong social capital impacts will be outlined and explained, including: 

  • capacity building
  • “spiraling up”

How Is Social Capital Built? 
Several strategies to help grants and development professions increase social capital among rural agencies and partners will be identified and explained, including:

  • finding shared vision, needs and interests
  • creating circles of involvement and project structures 
  • using data to drive collaboration 
  • regular and effective engagement
  • effective tools to keep groups on track
  • celebrating success 

The session will conclude with a social capital building exercise that demonstrates the concepts discussed and a review of several toolkits that grants and development professionals can use as guides in the field. 

GPC Competencies Addressed:
Methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders

S. Kim Jones has 17 years of grants, program development and management experience. She has worked for social service, higher education and healthcare agencies in rural Ohio and West Virginia. She holds a B.S. in Communications from Ohio University,  is a Lean Sigma Green Belt and a GPC. She is currently working on an M.A.S. in Community Development. Kim currently works and resides in the Appalachia region of Ohio where she serves on four local board and co-chairs a local health coalition. 

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