LIFT Annual Report 2013: Building Strong Foundations - Page 7

Theory of Change for Member Impact We don’t have to wait 20-30 years to know if our program is working – we get feedback after nearly every meeting. If it’s as predictive as its corporate equivalent, CV can help us learn and improve right here and now. What were your first steps as Chief Program Officer? My first step was to understand where we are right now. I visited each region to talk with the staff and to observe the member service meetings. I asked myself, ‘To what extent does the data match up to what I’m seeing?’ That’s an essential step as we build a barometer to measure impact. Then I started serving as an advocate myself, so I can understand first-hand what our members are facing and how LIFT can support their success. Members and advocates build a relationship that is memberled and rooted in dignity and respect. And you found out how hard it is. Definitely. The challenges our members are able to face and overcome would be daunting for anyone. You can’t help but marvel at their strength – and be humbled by it. Getting to be part of their journey is a gift and a big responsibility – one that I don’t take lightly. What’s the biggest challenge of your job? The overwhelming need. Times are very tough for individuals who are striving to build a better future for themselves and their families. It’s heartbreaking to visit our offices and see how many community members we have to turn away because we don’t have enough space, staff, and hours in the day to work with everyone who comes in the door. My challenge is to figure out how we can do a better job for the folks we can see. How can we be more effective in supporting their success? How can we get even closer to realizing our vision of helping people lift themselves out of poverty for good? + Together, they partner to make progress on the member’s goals and to work to strengthen members’ connections to social services, supportive relationships, and local community. What is your goal for 2014? To sharpen the focus. We’re investing in doing a more rigorous job of evaluating our impact and figuring out which aspects of our program are delivering the most value for our members and in what context. It’s my job to hone in on what works and pare back everything else so that we’re laser focused on helping our members succeed. Nothing could be more important. Members build stronger personal, social, and financial foundations that help them lift themselves and their families out of poverty for good. 5