So Cap Framework Hero

Social Capital Framework

A framework that identifies four core domains, or levers, that are essential on the pathway towards becoming a social capital promoting organization.

Become a Social Capital Promoting Organization

Youth-serving organizations and schools play an important role in supporting young people’s growth and development. Your organization likely has specific areas where you want to support youth. Whatever your organization goals are, becoming a social capital promoting organization can help achieve positive development outcomes.

Supporting youth in building and strengthening their social capital requires an intentional and inclusive focus on relationships that is fully integrated into what an organization or school already does. Schools and youth-serving organizations that do this work well are social capital promoting organizations.

What does it look like?

Search Institute has partnered with youth-serving organizations to better understand how social capital helps support positive youth outcomes, and what activities leaders and practitioners need to focus on to fully integrate social capital into the fabric of the organization.

The Social Capital Framework

Now that you’ve seen the ways that social capital can help young people reach their goals, you may be asking how to become a social capital promoting organization? Search Institute's Social Capital Framework introduces you and your organization to four core domains that are essential on your pathway towards becoming a social capital promoting organization.

BUILD icon.


Build partnerships and supporting structures

Supporting Structures

Inputs needed to support an organization that prioritizes relationships.

Impactful Partnerships

Strong relationships with your community and other organizations who can support your mission.

CREATE icon.


Create a relationship-rich climate

Safe Space

An environment where all youth feel accepted, welcomed, and respected.

Culturally Responsive

Uses practices to promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity.

Sense of Belonging

Youth and staff feel seen and valued.

Opportunities to Explore Sparks

The opportunity to explore interests, passions, and talents.



Support staff in nurturing young people’s social capital

Asset-Based Mindset

Staff believe in youth assets and potential.

Authentic Relationship Building

Staff engage in actions to create strong developmental relationships.

Brokering Skills

Staff connect youth with and facilitate access to relationships, resources, and opportunities.



Empower youth to strengthen and leverage their social capital

Confidence and Self-Efficacy

Youth believe in their own strengths and have confidence to pursue goals.

Relational Skills

Youth have skills to build meaningful relationships.

Commitment to Paying-It-Forward

Youth are inspired to help others.

Youth Opportunity Checkup:

Are you a Social Capital Promoting Organization?