At first there was The Back Door. It started Jan. 1, 1988. It used the contract and bonus process with young people aged 17 to 24. Then in 2001 there was Building Doorways. This program started in Minnesota with the intention of spreading the word about the contract and bonus process. Initially the following groups used the contract and bonus process successfully:

• Goodwill Easter Seals Willmar, MN
• East Metro OIC St Paul, MN
• Hamline Univ. Wesley Center, St. Paul MN
• Minnesota Valley Action Center Mankato, MN
• Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing MN
• We Win Institute Minneapolis, MN
• My Growth Plan Minneapolis, MN
• Path-Treatment Foster Care Minneapolis, St. Cloud, MN
• Pathways-The Ordean Foundation Duluth, MN
• Since the existence of Building Doorways many other groups and persons are using the contracting and bonus process. Our records indicate that the contract and bonus web site has been used over 225,000 times in the last eight years.

Over 20,000 copies of the book on The Back Door were distributed around the world. The discussion on cash transfer programs presents a global development of the use of incentives with contracts.

The history reveals how different groups attempted to experiment with the contract and bonus process. At first various agencies wanted to see an accomplished task before they would give the bonus. As the contracting developed these same agencies soon discovered that the final task was not the issue. Taking ownership for the plan was the issue. When the contract was given for creating a contract a sense of empowerment and ownership was experienced.

In 2007 Coached by Carl started. This was an effort to take more time to “coach” agency staff to consider seriously the need to let go and allow the contract and bonus process to be nurturing. Our society, the welfare systems, and traditional funders had found it difficult to make a shift in their thinking. The use of the term “outcomes” has become the “buzz” word. This ongoing struggle reflects the degree that society as a whole has moved to a welfare state model, it is far more prescriptive than descriptive.

In 2009 The Back Door became The Doorway. Now in 2010 Coached by Carl became Coached by Grace and Making Today Count. Coached by Grace is used within the faith community. Making Today Count is used in the community based environment. The goal is still the same; to use contracts and bonuses to nurture and enable people to seek a sense of self-direction with accountability. Please take time to get to know more about this project. The concepts are now being used around the world. It is safe to say that it has been a positive gift in the lives of thousands.