Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What to Measure - Part 1

In Transformational Giving the question of what to measure always comes up.  One thing we know is we will always measure income in fund raising.  But since TG is about moving champions deeper in their journey and commitment to the cause, should measuring the journey be as important as measuring the income?  And if so how do you measure it?

There are two different resources I have come across that have helped me learn about measuring.  Each resource points to the need to measure BOTH.  Income measurements are important, but so are activity measurements

One teaching about measurement comes from Steve Moore in his book, Seize the Vuja De. Moore discusses a ‘gathering’ matrix as opposed to a ‘scattering’ matrix.  The gathering matrix is what we take in, i.e. gather.  It measures things such as: How many people attend church?  How much money did we collect?  How many souls were saved?  Etc.

 The scattering matrix is different.  It does not focus on what comes in but what goes out, i.e. what we scatter.  It may measure activities such as: How many people from our church shared their faith this month?  How did we invest our income to impact the Great Commission?  How many believers did we training in evangelism? So we shift our focus to what is coming in to what is going out.

The beauty is, if we are effective in scattering it impacts what we gather.  This may sound familiar since the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9 that those who sow generously reap generously.

Another resource that mirrors Moore’s ‘scattering’ matrix comes from the 4 Disciplines of Execution.  The authors of this book mention lag measurements as opposed to lead measurements.  Lag measurement measures what has already happened. It is called lag because it is after the fact and can no longer be influenced. This is a similar concept to the ‘gathering’ way to measure.  Lead measurements are different.  They are fluid and can be influenced because they are measurements of activity during the process not the results at the end. 

An example from the book is airline safety records.   The lag measurement is 100% of the planes landed safely.  But how do you get these lag measure results.  Well you have a pre-flight check list that you can control.  This checklist is measured while it happens.  And when done properly it produces the desired result.  So the ‘scattering’ matrix you measure is not the number of planes landed safely, it is how many pilots are properly doing their preflight check list.

So for a church, ‘scattering’ measurements may look like this:  Not just how many pastoral visits the church staff made, but how many church members are being equipped for visitation and doing visitation. 

This entry is the ground work.  The next entry we will look at how all this can impact measurements in TG.

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