Step 1: Ask
From the beginning, Dignity has been clear that we want to see more than just profit. We want to see lives changed. This is so important to us that we have made it a bottom line - a measurement to our investors and staff that is right next to profit in our reports. It's the way we do business. It is integrated into the fabric of who we are.
So we decided to measure transformation.
Sounds tricky, eh? It feels a bit like measuring the humidity without a tool - you just feel it. It's not like we have a transformation hygrometer to read as we go. So how are we going to know that we really are bringing hope and bettering lives? We've created a tool: a baseline survey.
We have compiled a survey in our area that gives a current read on conditions there. We have currently surveyed 365 households. We will regularly survey our community again to see if there is improvement.
We want to know things like this:
- Are more children getting enough to eat?
- Are people sick less often?
- Are children going to school and staying in school?
- Is the average income in the area higher?
- Is the unemployment rater lower?
- Are marriages improving? Is the divorce rate dropping?
You see, we could offer the community thousands of gallons of safe water, but if the community is not using them, they will stay sick. By measuring disease rates, we can see measurable improvements brought by our water program. There are some subjective questions. That's fine with us. We feel that after years of asking these questions, we will be able to see marked improvement in our community.
Transformation starts with questions, not answers.
See the questions and community response to our baseline survey.