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January 15th, 2015

measuring kindness: harder than it looks

By KIND Editor

Here at KIND, we’ve been working toward the goal our founder, Daniel Lubetzky, set ten years ago: make kindness a community and state of mind. We’d be lying if we said this journey didn’t leave our heads spinning – in all the best ways! We’ve had fun asking questions like, “how can we make people smile more?” and “why does kindness make humans happy?” and “what motivates people to be kind?” Some days, it feels like we’re in a college philosophy class, not a business meeting.

Then there are the more difficult questions like, “how do we measure the kindness we’ve spread?” This has been particularly tricky to answer. Sometimes the outcome of our efforts isn’t always crystal clear, which leaves us with a great responsibility to track our impact authentically and transparently.

With this in mind, we spent some time evaluating our methods of measurement and uncovered a few ways to simplify. In a nutshell (…pun intended), we used to report two metrics – “kind acts” and “people impacted.” But we realized that you can’t do a kind act without impacting someone – that’s the whole point! So, we’re merging the two metrics into one that we can all rally behind: kind acts. Going forward, we’ll only report the kind acts that we, together with our community (YOU!), have performed, facilitated or celebrated. We won’t report product donations or any other unsubstantiated numbers that we came across during our historical review. This way, the total will accurately represent our collective effort to spread kindness – after all, a Movement isn’t a Movement without the support of its people.

So what’s a kind act, you ask? A kind act can be anything from an everyday action to a grand gesture. In the past, our community has rallied behind us to hand out cold drinks to construction workers on hot days. They’ve helped us lead coat drives, write “thank you” notes to local heroes, and surprise coworkers with coffee. One of our all-time favorite ways to facilitate kindness is the flower wall, where we invite people to “pick one and pass it on.” The hope is they’ll go and do just that, putting a smile on the face of someone else. We can’t say for sure that everyone we interact with will pay it forward, but we’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. We truly believe in people’s ability to be kind to one another.

Now that we’ve looked back, we’re ready to look ahead and grow the KIND Movement, one kind act at a time. But we can’t do that without your help. Like Daniel says, “we want KIND to become a movement that millions of community members feel ownership of.” So, will you get in the driver’s seat with us?

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