The Social Capital Database, developed and implemented by the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches (SPACC), has been on the organization's mind for several years. The term 'social capital' was used in 2000 by Robert D. Putnam to describe what happens when connections are made between individuals and organizations and these connections build a network of resources and relationships. SPACC wanted to use that idea and apply it to the social outreach work that congregations do for our community; thus, the 'Social Capital Database' was born. The goals of the Social Capital Database development and implementation are twofold: the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches (SPACC) wanted to quantify and encapsulate the social outreach contributions East Metro congregations make to our community and to build a social outreach directory that congregations can use to link to one another. Thus, the goals of the Social Capital Database pilot project were as follows: to work with 15-25 congregations to gauge their interest in the database, enter their congregations' social outreach information, and work with the database management company to make changes to the database based on feedback from meetings with church personnel. All eighteen of the congregations who were trained in the database were optimistic about its capabilities and eager to be part of the pilot group. All of the eighteen congregations entered at least some of their congregations' information, and eleven of the eighteen entered all of their information. The pilot project provided SPACC with the first of the databases' inputted information and put SPACC well on the way to implementing use of the database throughout the East Metro.
Prepared in partnership with the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches. Funded by a Communiversity Personnel Grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota.
Social Capital Database Pilot Project: Results and Recommendations.
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