The start of Results 1st
Results 1st had its start in the work of its Creator, Hal Williams, while president for many years of The Rensselaerville Institute (TRI). Beginning in 1972, TRI (first called “The think tank with muddy boots” by the Wall Street Journal) created a series of self-help projects as part of its program on community vitality. Projects included the revitalization of Appalachian small towns and a 17-mile water line installed by Cherokees in one of the lowest income counties in the nation. That project was feature on Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt and was a cover story in Parade Magazine.
Hal and his colleagues created a national program that helped residents with water and wastewater systems in 18 states. Hal then guided TRI to focus on foundations and governments and the value of supporting work that had such strong results. He wrote a book, Outcome Funding…a New Approach to Targeted Grantmaking. In its initial year it sold 800 copies. Five years later in sold that number in a single day.
Hal resigned as CEO of TRI in 2008 and has consulted with many groups on result themes. In 2019 he began looking to find a way to keep his legacy moving forward while he shifted to doing writing much more than projects. He wanted an heir—and found one.
I was looking for a succession path for myself and knew that the key was not a plan or design but a person. And not just one that would dutifully carry on with my ideas and products but who could add new ones and multiply my impact. I needed someone exceedingly bright and energetic—and with a proven ability and the credibility to help groups achieve stronger results. And I needed a colleague with whom I would greatly enjoy working.
Robyn Faucy was my choice and it turned out to be the smartest business decision I have ever made. Robyn was first a client. She headed Neuro Challenge, the group providing service to families with Parkinson’s in a multi-county area around Sarasota, Florida. It was just the right time in her life for an entrepreneurial plunge.
Together we decided to form a new organization whose name would say what we do and achieve -Results 1st.
Results 1st was incorporated in 2020 with Hal as Creator and Robyn as CEO.
The success of an enterprise is explained less by its structure, process, values, or visions than it is by its people. In our case we have two lead persons and a set of very helpful clients that have helped us refine our work through using it.
Your guides for effectively using the tools and templates of Results 1st are Hal Williams, Creator, and Robyn Faucy-Washington, Chief Executive Officer. We use the term “guide” to differentiate ourselves from the typical understanding of the word “consultant.” Three distinctions:
- Guiding is toward a destination. You need a guide not to travel but to get somewhere—whether it is mountain top, a creel full of fresh trout, or a specific accomplishment for an organization.
- Guides know things that will help. Guides have been there and offer possibilities new to the group. They are distinct from many facilitators and consultants who help groups clarify and use what they already know.
- Guides provide right-sized provisions. Many organizations set forth on program voyages loaded with murky baggage of evaluation and outcome terminology. They have packed too much to sustain the pace. Guides are lean on provisions.
Creator, Results 1st
… is a resource for foundations, governments, and nonprofit organizations that seek to define, track, verify, and communicate the results they achieve.
Hal’s clients for increasing and verifying results include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, American Express, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the Duke Endowment, and the Annie E. Casey Humana, Prudential, Starwood Hotels, and Verizon Foundations. His government clients include mayors and city managers in such cities as Albany, New York, Grand Rapids Michigan, and Seattle, Washington. He has worked with governors of Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia. Hal has served as lead consultant to a U.S. Presidential Commission.
He is lead author of Outcome Funding: a New Approach to Targeted Grantmaking. Now in its 4th edition, the book is widely used in the US and the UK as a framework for allocating and spending money to improve human lives and conditions.
Much of Hal’s career focused on creating and leading The Rensselaerville Institute (TRI). The Institute is an internationally respected educational center known as “The Think Tank with Muddy Boots.” He has now created Results 1st to express the tools and resources he has developed. His writings, projects and blog are available at Results1st.org.
Contact Hal at email@example.com
Robyn Faucy-Washington guides non-profit and for-profit organizations to achieve aggressive and transformative results. Her specialties are revenue development, culture-shifting, marketing and defining, tracking, and verifying results. She doubled the annual income of two organizations.
Robyn has held leadership roles with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sylvan Learning Centers, and the American Cancer Society. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, in Sarasota, Florida, until June 2021. In five years she increased both income and participant engagement by over 100% for the organization.
In 2018, Robyn created the Parkinson’s Expo, the largest event of its kind in the nation. Over 1,400 participants attend and get actionable education and resources. More about Robyn’s work at Neuro Challenge can be read here: https://www.businessobserverfl.com/article/nationally-known-nonprofit-ceo-resigns-to-focus-on-business
Robyn has been featured in Style Magazine and recognized as an Amazing Suncoast Woman by ABC7. She is a past Chairperson of AIRPO—the Alliance for Independent and Regional Parkinson’s
Organizations . She earned an undergrad degree in social sciences and a master’s degree in management with a concentration in leadership and organizational effectiveness.
Robyn attributes her relentless determination to help groups to succeed to her upbringing by blue-collar, hardworking parents. Neither of her parents graduated from high school, and she has lived the circumstances that participants in many nonprofit organizations face.
Contact Robyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Persons and groups helped are integrally involved in the products we shape and offer. Here are some examples of persons who have played that role over time. Two quick examples:
- With Al Browne we pioneered some ways to verify use of a major educational platform well beyond page views and downloads.
- With Arthur Dade, we explored with staff how to use common observations as a way to go deep. In the case of his group, we started with the word used by his social workers: stuck. So, what do you see and hear when a person is stuck? And unstuck?
- With Jesse White we forged the Appalachian Community Learning Project that brought real time change to isolated very low-income settlements. Projects were based on sparkplugs—local residents with the itch and skills to act.
Mike Bailin, CEO, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
Susie Bowie, CEO Manatee (FL) Community Foundation
Albert Browne, Program Director, The Verizon Foundation
Bob Giloth, Executive Vice President, the Duke Endowment
Walter Woods, CEO, The Humana Foundation
Cheri Coryea, County Administrator, Manatee County FL
Kurt Kimball, City Manager, Grand Rapids, MI
Donald Schaefter, Governor of Maryland
Ross O. Swimmer, Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior
Jesse L White Federal Co-Chair, The Appalachian Regional Commission
Anne Le Anne LeBaron Heller (CEO Take Stock in Children)
Arthur Dade Senior Vice President, Edgewood-Brooklyn, Washington DC
Richard Heitler, Director of Training LISC
Arthur Webb, CEO, Village Services, New York City
Victor J. Riley, CEO Key Corp
Robert Higgins, CEO Transworld Entertainment
Barbara Pilliod, Product Director, General Electric
Mike Marvin, CEO MAP Info.
Mark Chudzicki, CEO,
Results 1st has a history. It began with Hal Williams’ leadership of the Rensselaerville Institute (TRI). TRI is referred to as “the think tank with muddy boots.” Beginning in 1972, TRI mounted a series of self-help projects for vital infrastructure in low income communities in 16 states. Projects included the revitalization of company towns in Appalachia and a project called Water for Bell–a 17 mile water line installed by Cherokees, which was a cover story in Parade Magazine and featured on Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt.
Hal and his TRI colleagues noted that many other nonprofits were getting more money from foundations and governments, and wrote the book Outcome Funding…a New Approach to Targeted Grantmaking. In its initial year, the book sold 800 copies. Five years later it sold that number in a single day. This led TRI into consulting engagements with foundations and governments to shift from funding programs to investing in results.
In its transition to guiding those who give and spend philanthropic and government dollars to create human gain, Hal found that many of the approaches they had instinctively used in community development worked well as broader tools for outcomes. For example:
- Those with a problem or challenge are often less interested in process than results. In Bell, OK, Cherokees were less interested in meetings to build trust, for example, than they were in putting in a water line so they no longer had to carry water a mile or more. Trust came from that success.
- Clear targets galvanize work to achieve them. In all its renewal projects, TRI found that knowing the specific number of feet of sewer pipe or the number of children in a small town to get to grade level was the central point. This led to simple tracking measures visually portrayed for all residents who could see the consequences of their work.
- Individual sparkplugs in communities and organizations were far more critical than plans, committees, or meetings. They made all the difference.
In addition to helping others, TRI felt it should lead by example and created the national program, SchoolTurnaround. It offers a focus on achievement rather than programs, clear school targets, and a focus on building principals as the sparkplugs most critical to change.
When Hal resigned as President of TRI in 2008 he became its first Senior Fellow and works with the Institute to hone tools and approaches. In addition, he pioneered use of the term Results First and is now helping nonprofits and governments to use a set of tools that make those words very operational. (See Examples on the website.)