Getting to Results: A Tool and Lessons from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s K-12 Education Portfolio

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  • In 2002, the Annie E. Casey Foundation adopted a results-based accountability (RBA) framework to track and report on the results of their philanthropic investments.
  • The RBA tool was piloted in a few program areas, including its K-12 education portfolio.
  • Grantees were highly engaged in an iterative process to determine appropriate measures, refine the theory of change, and how to track progress.
  • Overall, the RBA tool enabled staff to get a sense of how grantees were doing and therefore how the foundation was doing in a way that hadn’t been possible before.
  • The K-12 program got a much clearer sense of what it wanted to achieve in its program area and a deeper understanding of how individual grantee work contributed to the foundation’s overall goals.
  • Lessons learned about implementing the RBA include the importance of grantee involvement, accepting that not every project will achieve every goal, and the importance of a communications strategy.

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