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January 28, 2010

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January 28, 2010

Fair Chance allowed our organization, Resources for Inner city CHildren (RICH), to grow up. Administratively challenged, we were helped at various times by everyone at FC's offices, whether it was Board development, strategic planning, or building better communications tools. FC is the ultimate force multiplier for our city's underserved youth.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the following way. FC does a great job of bringing its partner groups together. I have personally been inspired by the great vision and dedication of my fellow executive directors.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 28, 2010

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January 28, 2010

Urban Alliance is a youth development organization that provides DC youth with internships, mentoring, formal training and support. We were extremely fortunate to have been a Fair Chance client from 2003-2004 and we have continued to benefit from being a Fair Chance alum ever since. Fair Chance came in at a crucial time for us when we were strengthening our infrastructure and just beginning to create marketing materials. We were grateful to benefit from their expertise and train staff in areas that were not our strengths. Furthermore, being a Fair Chance client gave us the opportunity to attend their workshops and network with other nonprofits in the DC area which expanded our reach and allowed us to provide holistic services to our youth.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the ability to get trained in areas that were not our expertise, to strengthen our infrastructure and to network with other area nonprofits.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely competent and personable. Our consultant felt like an extension of our staff and I truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with her.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

ensure every youth in DC received a quality experience from a strongly run nonprofit.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

January 27, 2010

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January 27, 2010

Here at Helping Inner City Kids Succeed, Fair Chance has been our capacity builder for four months. Our personal one on one session with Reggie Grant at Fair Chance has been outstanding. Fair Chance has been helping us enhance everything we been doing and has helped us to be more strategic about our approaches. If it wasn't for them, we would still be all over the place trying to do everything. They have truly been a blessing to us, and more organizations need this type of mentorship from the loving organization. GO FAIR CHANCE!!!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they have been understanding and competetent in working with us on where we were and we worked together to formulate where we think we should go.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 27, 2010

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January 27, 2010

Brainfood became a Fair Chance partner in 2009. Like most small nonprofits, Brainfood was constantly deciding between investing limited resources in infrastructure or serving one more client. We typically erred on the side of bringing more youth into our program. This was usually an easy, but short-sighted decision. Lack of infrastructure directly impacts our ability to serve youth over the long haul. Fair Chance makes it possible for us to continue investing limited resources in our clients, while also upgrading our infrastructure and making us more sustainable and effective.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the significant upgrades that we've made in the last year. We've created or made improvements to our HR Manual, Bylaws, Board Governance Procedures, Staff Evaluations and Development and Strategic Plan among others.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

terrific. Our Capacity Building Specialist, Reginald Grant, became an instant member of our team, but we also felt like we had the entire staff as a resource when necessary. To a staff with only 3 employees, this kind of support makes a real difference.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 27, 2010

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January 27, 2010

Along with a colleague, I started a nonprofit organization in 2002 to serve incarcerated youth in Washington, DC. By a huge stroke of luck, we found out about Fair Chance and were granted a capacity building partnership in 2006. We called that the year that we attended "Fair Chance University." I learned so much about what it takes to build and manage a successful nonprofit. I honestly believe that without Fair Chance's guidance and support, we would not be here today. Because of Fair Chance, we developed a strong and forward looking budget, sound fiscal management policies, a communications strategy which included the development and launch of our organization's website, built a strong working board of directors and most importantly, hooked into the unparalleled network of nonprofit organizations serving children and families East of the River. Rather than competing with each other for the limited funds available to nonprofits in the city, Fair Chance partners are a unique bunch of caring individuals who work together sharing ideas and resources because we all have the same goal of lifting up the children and youth that we all serve. The staff at Fair Chance nurtures and engenders this collaboration. Fair Chance is like family to us. Even though our partnership is technically over, they have continued to advise and guide us over the years. If they don't have the answer to our question, they know who does. I would advise anyone who is just beginning to build a nonprofit organization to apply for a partnership with Fair Chance!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their ability to help new nonprofits strengthen and refine their work.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

allow it the resources to take on more partners.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the personal connection. The staff at Free Minds genuinely care about our work and our mission and it shows.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all very passionate about the work of their partners.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bolster so many nonprofits doing great work in this city, that simply don't have the resources on their own to remain afloat.

Ways to make it better...

it could have lasted longer!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

dwindling resources.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Fair Chance has made a positive impact on countless DC youths through their capacity building work in this city.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

September 12, 2008

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September 12, 2008

Fair Chance was a godsend to our young nonprofit organization. Due to our work with Fair Chance, we were able to improve our marketing and communications, fundraising, finance, and Board development systems. In addition, potential funders noted our partnership with Fair Chance as a sign that we were on the right track as a developing nonprofit and that we had the support we would need to continue our growth. We have been able to take advantage of the Fair Chance community of nonprofit partners and philanthropic supporters to strengthen our organizational infrastructure and capacity with speed and quality that could not have been possible without Fair Chance's support.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

our own organization's Board of Directors. Fair Chance staff played a vital role in educating our Board and laying the foundation for us to double our Board's size and revamp its structure to better meet our needs as a developing organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the relationships I've built with Fair Chance staff and nonprofit partner organizations.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate, committed, knowledgeable, and skilled at balancing visionary ideas with day-to-day practicalities.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide longer-term in-depth support to its nonprofit partners and extend its reach to serve more and more worthy community-based organizations -- resulting in a stronger nonprofit sector able to support healthier communities.

Ways to make it better...

we could continue working as closely with Fair Chance as we did in our partner year.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

staff turnover. The two keys to Fair Chance's impact are the organization's model and its fantastic staff. The model will always be there; retaining staff for longer periods will help maintain the community connections that make Fair Chance's support so unique.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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