Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly vol:42 issue:6 pages:1176-1196
In the current debate on social capital, a key issue relates to the growing popularity of more passive forms of involvement at the expense of active participation in voluntary associations. While some authors claim that this trend leads to a decline in social capital, others call for a reevaluation of the role of passive involvement. This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between passive involvement and social capital. Using data from a representative survey of the Dutch-speaking population in Belgium, we assess the relationship between passive membership, financial support, and social capital. We find that financial support is a distinct form of participation that generates the strongest link with social capital. This indicates that voluntary associations, in addition to their socialization function, also perform an important representation function. This conclusion supports the institutional approach to social capital.