Measurable Outcomes

Measurable outcomes Why do we do the things we do? You and I.

Why bother getting that advanced degree? Just for the credentials?

Why eat the whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s ONE Cheesecake Brownie when 500 calories of poverty fighting creaminess would be good enough?

Why buy the pint to begin with? An outright donation to some cause that rhymes with Compassion 🙂 would probably make a more direct impact in the fight against poverty. It would sure help my poor jeans — not the donation part, the not buying and eating part.

Here are some of the more exceptional reasons I do things.

  • I enjoy it.
  • I can’t help myself.
  • I wanted to.
  • I had to.
  • It’s good for my career.
  • The ladies like it.
  • My boss made me.

Pretty good. Right?

Why do you think Compassion does what it does?
Just for the heck of it?


We do this poverty fighting stuff because we want to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. (Honk if you appreciated the subtle way I inserted our tagline.)

But what does releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name mean? I did it again 🙂 How do we know we’ve been successful?

This is for you Andrzej. It’s “the” post Becky alluded to in her reply to your comment on Maila’s Dream.

Although I’m not talking about the actual “how” we measure our success or the “method” we use to measure our success — that’s all top secret cloak and dagger type of stuff — I am hitting you up with the measuring stick we use.

Compassion’s success in releasing children from poverty is Outcome Driven.

We’re successful when the children in our Child Survival Programs (CSP) are physically healthy, curious, and self confident, when they have healthy age-specific relationships and when they interact and communicate with the world around them.

We’re successful when the mothers and/or caregivers in our CSP programs are sufficiently healthy to provide for the well-being of their children, when they’re motivated and able to be economically self-supporting and when they’re committed to Christ.

We’re successful when the children in our Child Sponsorship Program commit their lives to Christ, choose good health practices, are physically healthy, are motivated to learn new skills, demonstrate the skills to support themselves in the future and interact with others in healthy and compassionate ways.

We’re successful when the students in our Leadership Development Program do all the above and demonstrate servant leadership.

We’re successful when our church partners in the developing world demonstrate effective vision and leadership and take ownership of their vision by establishing efficient structures, practices and management to achieve their goals.

And finally, we’re successful, when you, our sponsors and donors, are actively committed and engaged in advocating for the needs of children in poverty, when you have a positive Compassion experience and … and … okay, I’ll say it … when you comment on our blog posts. 🙂

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” —Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV

12 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Sarah Levanway August 27, 2010

    Wow! Well said. I’m so glad to hear more clearly with the goals and outcomes for Compassion students are!

  2. Vicki Small June 22, 2008

    Hey, Mark! – Surprised and pleased, both! Yes, I like that “continuing dialogue” factor in measuring success in this area of church relationships. Thanks for taking the time to define this, for us.
    Blessed by and grateful for you,

  3. Mark Gehri June 20, 2008

    Vicki–aren’t your surprised that your web question came to me for an answer?
    You are thinking along the same path that we travel in our new Church Relationships group–how do we measure success in serving our church partners?
    The easy answer would be denominated in terms of number of sponsorships or LDP/CSP/HIV support (as you hinted at in your question). But, from your experience in Tucson, we both know that churches come to us in many different sizes and various levels of readiness to partner with us in reaching out to the poor. So, our overall goal is to build mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with our partner churches in the US. We envision providing increasing levels of service to churches as the Holy Spirit leads each individual church to develop a vision for serving the poor.
    We’ll consider it a successful relationship when we have a continuing dialogue with church leaders and together we’re constantly looking for concrete ways to make a difference in the life of poor children. Naturally, we’re all “in the business” of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name–and the more the better, one success at a time.
    Grateful for you,
    Mark Gehri
    Church Relationships

  4. Vicki Small June 12, 2008

    Dave, I like your definition: Success = our obedience to God. Under that banner, I consider my efforts for Compassion, over the past year, to have been highly successful. If success for an advocate were measured only in numbers of sponsorships (and, as you know, to some extent it is) or numbers of churches brought on board as partners, then my past year might be chalked up as a dismal failure. But I have followed where I have been led, as closely as I have been able to discern God’s leading, and I’ve had some wonderful meetings with a number of pastors/church leaders. Many, many seeds have been sewn, and I’m praying that God will reap a great harvest, this next year!

    As Wess talked about at the conference, last August, I just continue to walk in the direction He has pointed me. Which reminds me: I need to call another church. ‘Bye!

  5. Compassion dave June 11, 2008

    We are successful when we are obedient to God. It almost sounds cliche, but imagine how ‘successful’ we would be if we tithed obedience to the Lord.

    Sure, in theory we’re all shoot’n for 100%, but lets be real–if we will do one thing for every 10 things the Lord tells us to, the world would be such a grand place.

  6. Kees Boer June 11, 2008

    This is a great blog. It’s the love of Christ that constrains or motivates us. II Cor. 8:9 says: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” If we want to be like Christ, we would follow that example.

    Also, to me, it doesn’t make much sense to invest our lives on our own material possessions, when we will only be living here on earth about 80 years or so, which is about 25,000 days. When we invest our lives and resources in what won’t perish, such as people and the Word of God, we’ll reap eternal rewards.


  7. Vicki Small June 11, 2008

    Hmm…I got an advanced degree because I thought it would help me in my mid-life career change. It did, but I discovered other factors mattered, as well.

    I am a Compassion child sponsor and advocate because I can’t *not* do both.

    Now…I don’t see a measuring stick for success with church partnerships in the U.S. and our partner countries. How do you define success in that effort? Any one path of involvement with Compassion (e.g., once a year Compassion Sunday OR fund-raising OR LDP sponsorship OR CSP sponsorship), two or more means of partnering, or an all-out “We’re a Compassion-supporting church!” kind? (And wouldn’t I love to be the one who brings a church to that last phase!)

  8. Crystal June 11, 2008

    For all those reasons, I’m glad you do what you do. And that you invite us to participate with you as you serve in Jesus name.

  9. Kelly @ Love Well June 11, 2008

    Honk! Honk!

  10. Andrzej Gandecki June 11, 2008

    Thank you, Chris. A part of my curiosity has been satisfied. 🙂

  11. Beth Ingersoll June 11, 2008

    I’m glad you do what you do, for whatever reasons.

    I’ll add to your success by commenting on your blog posts, again. 🙂

  12. Dylster June 11, 2008

    Keep pressing on! I may not comment as much as I’d like to, but I do appreciate the fact that you’ve set up an RSS feed!

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