DV user Cathy Deagle Gammon shares her story

We got in touch with Cathy Deagle Gammon, Executive Director of Dartmouth Adult Services Centre in Dartmouth Nova Scotia to learn about how she used Demonstrating Value principles in a 15 minute presentation and raised $25,000!

DV: Can you talk a bit about Dartmouth Adult Services Centre?

Cathy Deagle Gammon:
DASC is a DASC logonon-profit vocational day program for persons with an intellectual disability. We provide services for people that range all the way from personal supports to employment supports.

DV: How did DASC first become involved with Demonstrating Value?

At a conference for social enterprises. I sat in on a presentation from Michele Cherot of The Right Stuff in Trail, BC. Listening to Michele I felt really engaged, and thought Demonstrating Value was something that would really benefit us.

DV: How does the DASC use Demonstrating Value?

We’re right in the middle of a capital campaign, so we haven’t created a performance snapshot just yet, but we did use Demonstrating Value principles to help us communicate our impact in a 15 minute presentation to receive $25,000 in funding - and we did it!
In our presentation we included quotes from parents and community members that demonstrated the value DASC offers. We used PowerPoint, but the information on our slides could have easily been repackaged into a snapshot.

DV: Do you feel this presentation would have been more challenging without Demonstrating Value?

Well, we wouldn’t have been as efficient in communicating everything in 15 minutes. We may have still received the funding, but Demonstrating Value helped us develop a more focused, polished presentation – it was crisp and clean and that ultimately made a big difference. Visually the presentation was much stronger, which was very important, specifically for the audience we were presenting to.

DV: Have you had any challenges with the IT systems aspect of gathering and analyzing data?

We have fairly sophisticated financial systems, but we don’t have a centralized database for our programs for gathering client indicators. It’s a bit more challenging technically to get these programs in place, but it’s a healthy challenge! 

DV: How much time/effort/money did you invest in Demonstrating Value?

We invested almost no money. We did bring Michele back to present for our colleagues, but we invested more time than money – time to learn to use the Demonstrating Value principles. We learned that the trick to having useful information is ensuring the information has some depth to it, that it’s good quality.

DV: What are some of the tools and resources you’ve found most useful?

The website was very helpful, particularly the video tutorials (sadly not all of these are online anymore). We were also provided with a handout from Michele that incorporated parts from the Demonstrating Value Workbook, which was quite useful.

DV: Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m looking forward to using Demonstrating Value more in what we do. It’s a concept I can’t wait to invest more time in. For 2013, we have plans to build our first performance snapshot as an interactive dashboard, and incorporate it into our annual report. So by the time I get our snapshot done next June, I can wow everyone!

DV: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Cathy!

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