Fair Chance is a unique organization in Washington, D.C. As an intermediary organization providing technical assistance to enhance the capacity of youth serving nonprofits in the city, the work of its remarkable and talented staff has served as a life line to many organizations that are making a significant diffenence in the lives of many in underserved communities in the city. The impact of the services provided has long lasting impact in the life and development of the nonprofit organizations that it serves. Its leadership and staff are committed to the success of young people in Washington, DC. Its model teaches youth serving nonprofit organizations "how to fish" so they may be successful in the long term rather than "give them a fish" for short term sustinance. One such program supported by Fair Chance helps prepare high schoolers for college and experienced a 100% rate of acceptance to college for all program participants. These young people will clearly have an advantage in the job market and their ability to give back to their communities. My many years of work with nonprofit organizations and in the field of organization development make me know this is an important approach to organizational capacity building. Fair Chance is an organization that is making a difference and adding to the long term positive impact on and of young people in DC. Fair Chance ROCKS!!
The Parklands Community Center was one of the first nonprofit organizations that received capacity building funding and support, back in the day. It was during a time when our board was falter and funds were down. Thanks to Amanda and Fair Chance our Board got back on track, and their guidance helped us to become more effective in soliciting more funding for our year round programming that served as a safety net for children and youth living Ward 8. So many thanks and I am glad to see Fair Chance still around helping other nonprofits serving people in need. Brenda H. Jones Executive Director Parklands Community Center CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF CARING AND SHARING!!
As the founder and current board member of Fair Chance I have had the unique opportunity of watching Fair Chance thrive over the past eight years. It has been an honor to be a part of an organization that without question makes a measurable difference in the lives of children and families in Washington D.C. The results speak for themselves. Since 2002, Fair Chance has worked with 40 youth and family organizations and has positively impacted the lives of over 20,000 children. And, thanks to the Fair Chance partnership over 93% of the organizations that we have worked with continue to thrive! In addition, thanks to the Fair Chance partnership, on average our partners are able to double the number of children they serve and triple their annual fundraising income. When people ask me what makes me most proud about founding Fair Chance the answer is simple. I am proud to know that the organizations that Fair Chance supports will continue to be around for years to come to serve the children and families that are truly counting on them. Why invest in Fair Chance? Three reasons. 1. By investing in Fair Chance your dollars are leveraged. You are not simply investing in one charity, you are investing in the future of over 40 thriving youth and family organizations. 2. It is a thoughtful and strategic investment. Your dollars are spent strengthening the organizational infrastructure and guaranteeing the sustainability of these thriving nonprofits. 3. By investing in Fair Chance you are able to make an impact on a variety of issue areas including education, health, job training, and mentoring to name a few.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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!
In 2007 I founded and now direct One World Education, a Fair Chance partner and DC-based non profit organization. In just one year, our Fair Chance partnership has greatly expanded our organizational model and programs impact. Our Fair Chance capacity trainer works with our team and board of directors to ensure our organization's structure and policies reflect the mission and accomplishments of our programs. Over the last year, Fair Chance has led our team in the development of our logic model, program evaluation and strategic plan. Additionally, our partnership has allowed us to meet and work with other emerging non-profit organizations in the Fair Chance community to address common challenges and to collaborate resources. I highly recommend Fair Chance to program directors who are committed to building and strengthening their organization with best practices and seeking the professional guidance to succeed and be sustainable. Eric Goldstein One World Education www.oneworldeducation.org with the capacity building support of Fair Chance.
I had the privaledge to serve on Fair Chance's Board of trustees for several years. Fair Chance is a dedicated, necessary organization working successfully to improve the lives of Washington DC children who are living in poverty. During FC's partnerships local organizations are taught essentials skills to increase their ability so successfully help thier target population. Partner organizations learn how to apply for funding, develop their internal organization, expand their services, and thrive for years to come.
I have had the privilege of serving on the board of Fair Chance for four and a half years, and have recently assumed the position of board chair. What struck me when I first got to know Fair Chance – and still strikes me today – is the unique way Fair Chance is able to reach into the communities we serve with both depth and breadth, through the relationships that our capacity builders foster with our partner organizations. This model allows us to serve a variety of seemingly different organizations that all share our goal of helping youth and families. As a fundraiser, the investment that people are able to make in the children of Washington by investing in Fair Chance is equally striking. As just one organization, Fair Chance is able to provide service to and thus ensure sustainability to more than ten other local partner organizations a year.
Fair Chance has been an excellent partner for us as we try to support nonprofit agencies in Wards 7 and 8 of Washington DC. We have funded Fair Chance several times over the years including our most recent grant of $50,000 for general operating costs. The ED has been a thoughtful and thorough leader, bringing a great deal of business and development experience to the organization. Fair Chance partners well with other nonprofits in the community and serves as an excellent source of information and support. The Board has really developed its own strengths over the last year and has been careful to plan strategically for the future, particularly during the economic downturn. One of the Fair Chance partners, Mentoring Today, is a prime example of the knowledge, management tools and financial stability that Fair Chance has helped a small group develop, leading to more students served and a better community overall.
Fair Chance has the demonstrated ability to multiply services and opportunities that reach our most impoverished and hardest to reach youth in DC. In my current role with a partner organization and previously as the Development Director at Fair Chance, I have been inspired by the amount of unsolicited praise partner organizations share about the benefits of the one-on-one, client-centered capacity building partnership. I had the honor of working with this wonderful organization for two years, and I know firsthand that investing in Fair Chance results in real and lasting change for thousands of our local children.
I first got involved with Fair Chance about 2.5 years ago. I was struck by the mission and the fact that an investment in Fair Chance helps many small non profits in DC that have great visions but don't have the capability to grow or sustain. I first got involved with the organization's search for a new Executive Director. I am proud that I was part of the process to bring on such an experienced and effective leader for the organization. After spending a year on the Board, I accepted the role of Treasurer which I have held for a little over a year. As Treasurer, I see first hand how Fair Chance can help so many worthy non profits with a fairly limited budget. Fair Chance manages expenses and negotiates pro bono support that can be leveraged by many of its partners. I have had the opportunity to talk to the leaders of several Fair Chance partners and they are incredibly appreciative of the help Fair Chance has given them and attribute a lot of their success to this partnership.
From January to August in 2009, I led a pro bono project team from the Taproot Foundation to research, write, design, and produce new fundraising materials for Fair Chance. As I learned more about the organization, I became increasingly impressed with its unique business model offering free, high quality, one-on-one capacity building services to other local nonprofits. I also enjoyed a close working relationship with the Fair Chance staff, who amaze me with their dedication, responsiveness, knowledge, and passion for the cause. I highly recommend Fair Chance to potential corporate and individual donors (I have become one myself), as well as to future partners, employee candidates, and volunteers.
Fair Chance’s Capacity Building Partnership with BT strengthened the organization in the areas of fiscal management, fundraising, communications, board development and human resources. During the Fair Chance partnership, BT more than doubled its budget and tripled the number of participants served.
As a new transplant to the DC region I needed to establish a network. I reached out to many leaders in the nonprofit community and I was impressed with how and what they said about Fair Chance. I wanted to align myself with Fair Chance because it was an organization that spoke to my values to strengthen nonprofits as they pursue excellence in meeting their mission. The beneficiaries of their services were not only the nonprofit organizations they partnered with to support but most importantly the youth that those organization's served. As a volunteer with Fair Chance, I invest my time because I believe in the far-reaching value and impact of capacity building. The Fair Chance staff is passionate and committed to supporting their nonprofit partners to achieve mission success. That's something we should all value. Building stronger nonprofits = Building stronger communities.
Fair Chance fills a much needed gap in educating small non-profits in neighborhoods on how to more effectively operate their organizations. They've done a terrific job with identifying appropriate organizations and providing them with important organizational expertise.
As a Fair Chance board member for over a year, I have been honored to serve with such a hands-on, motivated board and dedicated, resilient staff. In the past several months, I have spent significant amounts of time interviewing the executive directors of the nonprofits with which Fair Chance has partnered. What has impressed me most is the truly transformative effect our capacity building has on these dynamic, community-based nonprofits serving youth, children and their families in Wards 5-8 of Washington, DC. To a person, these executive directors have discussed how Fair Chance has helped to stabilize, strengthen, and sustain their organizations in areas like board development, fundraising, financial management, human resources and succession planning. It is obvious to me that there exists a direct correlation between having a stable, sustainable community-based nonprofit and the positive outcomes these nonprofits can achieve. Moreover, Fair Chance has truly developed the leadership skills of these executive directors, who now feel more effective in their roles as leaders of their organizations. One executive director gave me the following apt analogy of the relationship between her organization and Fair Chance: her organization is the mission, the heart, and Fair Chance is the structure, the skeleton that protects and nutures that heart to ensure that it can do great works in the community. That's a great way to think of what Fair Chance does at its best.
Fair Chance is intensely focused on understanding and addressing the needs of underserved children in Washington. They have an innovative, effective approach to building the capacity of nonprofits and strengthening the community one organization at a time.