Evidence for what works in building community capacity, and how it can save money

The Building Community Capacity project has been gathering evidence of better outcomes and cost-effectiveness for some time now. We hope you find this section helpful

See the Strategic Briefing below for an at a glance guide to the issues and evidence for why organisations should focus on social capital. We developed this in collaboration with Research in Practice for Adults and hope it will help you develop your own local business case.


Think Local Act Personal's Building Community Capacity workstream has been encouraging providers and commissioners of social care to think about four key areas in relation to social capital:

  • Building social support networks
  • Encouraging membership of groups
  • Nurturing an inclusive community
  • Enabling everyone to make a contribution (participation and co-production).

This paper reports on some of the available evidence in these areas, which we have grouped together under Better Outcomes and Economic Benefits.


See also the 'Making an economic case' document and presentation below for information about the work we have been doing with Professor Martin Knapp of the London School of Economics. Professor Knapp has found that social capital ventures are widely seen as having the potential to improve quality of life for individuals and communities and can save money e.g. - the cost per member of a timebank averages less than £450 but could result in savings of over £1,300 per member.


The Making an economic case resource comprises other available evidence on cost-effectiveness that we have found to be useful. Some of this material may help to add weight to your own reports and business cases.

See also the Social capital and better outcomes resource for further research.