Friday, January 17, 2014

With apologies to mathematicians, numbers aren't everything

We are working hard to finalize our 2013 numbers to report the year's results. This involves our financials as well as our program statistics and outcomes.  Essentially, CCSC had a good year, and we'll be reporting the information formally next week.

Numbers matter because we can measure accomplishments and make comparisons to prior years as well as to our goals.  But numbers cannot be the sole mechanism in measuring success.  An organization's mission also needs to be assessed:  Did we live our core values (these are mentioned in a prior post)?  Can someone walk into our programs, office, or resale shop and see a match between our values and our daily interactions?  Do we "walk the talk" with our organizational culture?

I share this not to give an assessment on CCSC's culture (although I think our staff and volunteers do an outstanding job).  I share this to show that when we measure success, we also have to consider how well we relate to others, especially those we serve.

So I'm always grateful to receive feedback on how we can improve in this area.  And of course, I love to hear directly from our clients. 

Earlier this week, I ran into a former JobNet client.  He wanted me to know how much the people at JobNet meant to him:  he said they changed his life, and he rattled off all their names.  He's been employed for three years now.  In the year he was a client, he represented one person out of 50,000+ who our organization helped.  His statistic was not meaningful, if you look at just the numbers.  But his story was meaningful to those who worked with him.  He believed they genuinely cared for him, and this helped propel him forward.

So as we publish and report our numbers, remember that each program statistic represents a human being, with his or her own story.  CCSC aims to meet our targeted programmatic and financial goals while seeing each person coming through as a child of God, worthy of our best effort.

If you would like to become a CCSC volunteer and join our community, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Kate Gallup, at

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