Big Heavy Selected for Nonprofit Institute

Big Heavy World has been selected to participate in the Benchmarks for a Better Vermont Performance Institute, a grant-funded organizational development program. The Institute is designed to help Vermont’s nonprofits build mission-appropriate and sustainable systems of performance measurement, and is offered at no cost to the selected organizations. The sixteen-month curriculum is based on the Results-Based AccountabilityTM framework developed by Mark Friedman. Big Heavy World was one of 17 organizations from around the state awarded a place in the Institute. Finalists went through a selective application process in which they were asked to demonstrate the understanding, ability, and commitment to take advantage of the Performance Institute.

"Big Heavy World helps bring the music community of Vermont together and achieve success on its own terms. It does its work with a volunteer crew and environment that empowers and educates youth. Our next steps in growth and sustainability will be aided by the knowledge we gain through the Performance Institute; we're deeply grateful for the chance to participate," said James Lockridge, Executive Director.

"We are very excited to be working with an outstanding group of 17 nonprofits from around Vermont on performance measurement," said BBVT director Kate Jellema. "Each of these organizations have made a strong commitment to take a results-based approach in their work."

Other organizations selected for the Institute are: The Collaborative (South Londonderry); Community Connections (Montpelier); The DREAM Program (Winooski); Essex CHIPS (Essex Junction); Global Campuses (Randolph); Happy Days Playschool (Arlington); High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program (Norwich); HOPE (Middlebury); Linking Learning to Life (Burlington); Mercy Connections (Burlington); Morningside House (Brattleboro); Orange County Parent Child Center (Chelsea); Our Place Drop-in Center (Bellows Falls); Rutland County Housing Coalition (Rutland); Rutland County Parent Child Center (Rutland); and VSA Vermont (Winooski).

Benchmarks for a Better Vermont is a two-year initiative run by a consortium of organizations committed to strengthening Vermont's nonprofit sector. Marlboro College Graduate School serves as the lead agency. Other partners include the Vermont Community Foundation, Common Good Vermont, SerVermont, United Ways of Vermont, and the United Ways of Addison, Chittenden, Lamoille and Windham Counties.

Benchmarks was selected in September 2011 as one of five organizations nationwide to receive a Nonprofit Capacity Building grant from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The Performance Institute is supported by this $200,000 grant along with matching funds from the Vermont Community Foundation, the AD Henderson Foundation, and each of the BBVT collaborating partners.

“"The Performance Institute is a wonderful opportunity for organizational growth, personal learning, cohort networking and sector-wide conversation," Jellema said. "We are very pleased to be working with this talented group." The kick-off event for the institute is a two-day conference to take place at the Marlboro College Graduate School on June 12-13.

More information is available at