Outcomes & Evaluation

Over the past 2 decades, Vermont nonprofits and state agencies have found Results-Based Accountability (RBA) a powerful and effective tool for outcomes and evaluation. Results-Based Accountability is a planning and evaluation framework developed by Mark Friedman, field-tested in Vermont, and outlined in Mark’s classic book Trying Hard is Not Good Enough.

With a results-based approach, Common Good Vermont strengthens the nonprofit sector’s capacity to make significant, sustained improvements in the well-being of Vermont communities and individuals. We do this by asking nonprofits to answer three transformational questions about their operations:

  • How much are we doing?
  • How well are we doing it?
  • and – most critically for all of us – Is anyone better off?


Vermont Passes Outcomes Bill – S.293 Signed by Governor June 12, 2014

Governor Peter Shumlin signs S.293, “The Outcomes Bill”, designed to increase accountability and improve decision making throughout Vermont state government was approved by the Vermont House of Representatives on April 30, 2014. Sponsored by Senator Diane Snelling, S.293, “An Act Relating to reporting on population-level outcomes and indicators and on program level performance measures”, the bill enables the use of results-based policy making in the Vermont Legislature, throughout state government and Vermont’s social sector. Sue Zeller, Chief Performance Officer, attributes the right timing [of passing this legislation] to collaboration from three major sectors: the state’s executive branch, Legislature and nonprofit service community. She said past similar efforts did not have such diverse buy-in from the sectors that conceive and carry out so much of the state’s service work.

“It is a cultural transition from simply having a genuine interest in improvement … to truly infusing outcomes thinking into the way you manage your organization.”
– Mario Morino, Leap of Reason

Common Good Vermont offers a variety of opportunities for nonprofits to strengthen their internal capacity, integrate Results-Based Accountability (RBA) into their daily operations, and build a statewide culture of accountability.

  • RBA Training
    Since early 2012, hundreds of Vermonters have been introduced to RBA, whether at Common Good Vermont’s Vermont Nonprofit Conferences, sessions with Mark Friedman, or in special workshops for philanthropists, legislators or nonprofit leaders. Take a look at our event calendar or reach out to [email protected] to learn more about upcoming RBA events!
  • RBA Consulting
    We understand that often organizations seek support in their efforts to integrate RBA into their decision-making processes. If you are looking for an experienced nonprofit consultant to support you with your RBA work, please visit our Consultant Directory or reach out to [email protected].