Organizational Model

Building Social Capital

Community organizing through PICO brings people together and builds the social fabric of communities. At a time when there is widespread concern about declining civic participation, congregation-based community organizing has become a powerful tool to connect people to one another and to the institutions that influence their lives.

PICO is engaged in a long-term research study on the relationship between organizing and social capital through the Vanderbilt University and the Skipper Initiative, a project funded by the Raskob Foundation. Led by Dr. Paul Speer, this research is systematically analyzing patterns of civic participation in five communities in which PICO affiliates work. The project has provided a valuable tool for PICO leaders and staff to reflect on their work.

The Skipper research project has begun to produce important findings on the role that congregations can play in improving communities and engaging individuals in civic life. Dr. Speer has now conducted evaluations of eleven PICO federations as well as PICO?unity organizing through their congregations it increases their level of involvement in other community and political activities.

Articles and Reports on PICO by Paul Speer

Exercising Power to Produce Change
Evaluation Report: People Making Policy in California
Organizing for Power: A Comparative Case Study
The Intentional Exercise of Power
Reviving Dutchtown: Social Capital Development and Community Organizing