‘Project Green Thumb’ Illustrates New Community’s Profound Impact In Numbers

Not-For-Profit Touches More Than 40,000 Lives In August 2016

By Tony Tolles and Frances Teabout

New Community Corporation provides a wide array of services and programs to help residents of inner cities improve the quality of their lives to reflect individual God-given dignity and personal achievement.

So, how are we doing? How many lives do we impact? What areas are they in?

CEO Richard Rohrman decided that we ought to try and find out.

We asked our department leaders to keep track of how many lives we touch at New Community for the month of August. We recognized that the survey would not be perfect and would inevitably include some duplication. However we also believed the exercise would provide a window into what New Community is all about and how many lives we touch.

As a not-for-profit community development corporation, too often our focus is on how we get funding or what problem can we solve today. We rarely find the time or inclination to see what effect we have on people’s lives and how many people we serve.

So we decided to launch a new initiative that would reveal how many lives are touched by New Community.

Dubbed as “Project Green Thumb,” the initiative kicked off with a presentation by Frances Teabout, director of Mission, to senior management and department heads at the monthly First Thursday meeting. She urged her colleagues to keep track of how many “touches” or interactions they had with external contacts in August (touching another employee did not count, with the exception of the Human Resources Department).

The results may astound some readers but will be no surprise to those who are familiar with New Community’s work.

In a single month, New Community touched over 42,000 lives.

That’s right, more than 42,000 people received vital services through our five-star rated Extended Care Facility, a skilled nursing facility; Family Service Bureau, which provides mental and behavioral health services; transitional housing for the homeless at Harmony House; Adult Learning Center and many, many more.

When we initially calculated the numbers, there was some skepticism regarding whether the figures were accurate. Luckily we had a way to check. New Community’s Security Department keeps a log of everyone who enters at just four locations throughout the entire NCC network. In August, they had almost 12,100 visitors sign in. And they had the individual sign-in sheets to prove it.

In some cases, we counted the same person who lives in New Community’s affordable housing and sends his or her children to the early learning center while also being trained as an automotive technician. That’s one person being touched by New Community three times (and counting the child adds an additional touch).

But that’s exactly the point: New Community provides services to help the whole person and not just one aspect of his or her life.

When we talk about “touching” people’s lives at New Community, we are not talking about a brief or superficial encounter. New Community’s driving mission is to improve the quality of life of residents in need.

Moving forward, we remain committed to that goal and will continue to strive to turn 42,000 into 50,000 and then 75,000.

Tony Tolles is special assistant to the CEO of New Community and Frances Teabout is director of Mission.


* With more than 500 employees at NCC, the Human Resources Department contributed almost 1,400 touches of employees and their immediate families.
* In our 1,800 units of housing we touched more than 4,500 lives.
* Over 1,300 adults received training and intensive case management from our literacy, SAIF and workforce development programs.
* More than 1,500 people visited the Priory for weddings, anniversaries, Friday night jazz and other special events. Annually, that figure translates into more than 18,000 – enough to fill the Prudential Center.
* Through our early learning centers, Youth Services, food pantry and Home Friends visits, we reached more than 2,500 people to help meet their individual needs.
* More than 1,400 people received skilled nursing care at the Extended Care Facility and visiting physician programs.
* Our credit union has 3,550 members and interested parties.
* New Community’s website received more than 3,000 visits, and via various communications platforms, including the monthly Clarion newsletter and digital eClarion, more than 12,000 people keep in touch with happenings at NCC.

Source: Project Green Thumb

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