Outliers invites others to invest their social capital in the form of time, money, expertise and stuff to build capacity in low-resourced after-school programs. Three principles inform the mobilization of this social capital towards the long-term capacity development of after-school programs.
1. Building trust
In any investment relationship, a key factor in garnering trust that leads to investment is confidence in the knowledge of the beneficiary of the investment. In Outliers, the beneficiaries are the coordinators of the community-based after-school programs. It is important for us to personally know the coordinators of these programs and to invest time in building relationships with them. We are working together towards addressing the issue of under-education in our communities. We respect and admire their commitment and hard work. We acknowledge and refer to their wisdom and insight on community practice and education. This becomes the foundation of any conversation with external stakeholders and builds confidence in their interactions with us.
The Answer Series appreciates the importance of our relationships. Trusting that we know our partners and their needs they have given Outliers a 70% discount so that their excellent study guides will get into the hands of those who need it the most.
2. Seeking alignment
Motivations for investing social capital can vary, with not all outcomes being positive and in the best interest of the recipient. Working together for greater good requires that we value building relationships in communities and working with people rather than implementing models. It is key to align with people who share these values, as this ensures a more sustainable collaboration to build capacity in after-school programs.
Nal’ibali certainly shares our values. They have partnered with us to get their literacy resources into our essential learning spaces.
3. Matching passion with purpose
Using your social connections in a sustainable way requires understanding the personal motivations and passions of those who are looking to contribute. It follows that someone is more likely to stay involved if the interaction is based on something that is significant to the contributor. Understanding the passion of the people in your social network requires getting to know these individuals and finding out what they are skilled at or passionate about, helping them to find an intervention that is accessible to them.
From the beginning Starlings Cafe has understood how to support Outliers from where they are, with what they have. As our partnership grew they found new ways to support the work we do, running campaigns and hosting fundraising events.
Collaborations with our friends mean our partners are able to access training, resources and opportunities.