This article explores the relations between voluntary organisations and the city administration in two British cities through an analysis of the impact of social capital. It provides a corrective to the dominant individual-level approach by offering an organisational-level analysis of social capital. The evidence suggests that inter-organisational social capital is not distributed equitably within cities. Voluntary organisations that regularly engage with a city administration can build networks of trust and information flows that outstrip those available to other voluntary organisations. Although it is easier to build social capital within a sector, such as the voluntary sector, building it in tight networks with voluntary organisations would appear to be an achievable goal for a city administration – but such networks do not guarantee an enhanced overall confidence in the local political system.