Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So, How's Business?

At CitySquare, measuring the effectiveness of our work has become increasingly important.

You can imagine that it is important to those who invest in our work - individuals, businesses, foundations, churches and other funders - are all keenly interested to know that they are investing wisely. It's important to our supporters, especially those volunteers, whose time, talent and energy supplement a staff which has grown significantly larger, during my 7 years here, but which is never really large enough to meet the need. But it is also important to those of us who, day-by-day do the best we working to address the root causes of poverty, by advocacy and direct service.

CitySquare started as a food pantry in 1988. While we have grown and the way we operate in the food pantry, more than 30,000 people received more than 1.5 million lbs of food in 2010 and there is no sign that these numbers will decrease anytime soon. We always want to know exactly who we are serving (CitySquare is now too large for all of us to know all of our neighbors now) and how are we doing in meeting the need? But we also need to know the depth of the need - how are we doing in meeting the needs of those who come to us and whom we discover need more than just food.

So we asked. And these charts are the results of a survey taken by 540 of our neighbors whom we've had the privilege to serve.

You can actually read the survey here...

We're still going over the results of the survey developing a profile of the people who come to meet one of the most basic human needs - the need for food. But what we do know is that 25% of the families in Texas are classified as poor. The numbers are similar in Dallas County. We're working to make sure some of these families don't need us anymore. We hope you'll help us!

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