Nearly 20% of children in the United States live below the federal poverty level

Fair Chance envisions a nation where every child succeeds. We believe that small, community-based nonprofits are critical players in combating the effects of poverty on children. By providing free, customized capacity building support, Fair Chance’s goal is to ensure these organizations are strong, sustainable, effective resources in the communities they serve for years to come.

We work with nonprofits using a three-fold approach: 

  1. We help leaders build upon their strengths
  2. We help organizations improve capacity to serve their communities
  3. We help enhance programs and services, so that children, youth, and families experiencing poverty can achieve life-changing results

What are “Life-Changing Results”?

The scientific theory that informs our work is The Social Genome Project, which found evidence that youth who achieve key milestones in life — such as reading at grade level and graduating from high school — are more likely to be middle class by age 30. Most importantly, if a key milestone is not achieved, a child can still get back on track to be successful through targeted interventions.

We adapted the key findings of The Social Genome Project to form our Life-Changing Outcomes Framework for children, youth, and families experiencing poverty. This Framework identifies four areas where critical interventions can change the trajectory of a child’s life: education, housing & income, health & well-being, and community. Each year, we use this Framework to ensure that we partner with small, community-based nonprofits whose work aligns with our mission.

Our Programs

We offer three, free, capacity-building programs to fit the various needs of community-based nonprofits at different stages of development: Pathways Partnership, Praxis Partnership, and Impact Academy. Our programs are intensive and customized to meet the unique culture and needs of each nonprofit.Based on research, our years of experience, and culturally responsive, equity-informed capacity building practices, the following capacity building areas serve as the foundation upon which we build strong nonprofits: Board Development, Financial Management, Fundraising, Human Resources, Leadership Development, Outreach & Communications, Planning and Strategy, Program Evaluation, & Resource Alignment. Fair Chance works strategically in these areas based on the strengths and needs of each nonprofit. Learn more about our capacity building areas here.

What Makes Our Programs Unique?

  • The Spirit of Partnership. We refer to the organizations we work with as partners because our programs are built on mutual learning, sharing, and trust.
  • Our Capacity Building Specialists. With a combined total of over 100 years of experience and expertise in nonprofit management and organizational development, our Capacity Building Specialists are highly skilled, culturally responsive, and understand the local nonprofit and philanthropic landscape.
  • A Long-Term Commitment to our Nonprofit Partners and their Sustainability. We offer partners ongoing training, referrals to resources, an online community forum, and opportunities to continue to learn, share, and grow as part of a supportive peer network. We also champion better government policies and philanthropic practices that benefit small, community-based nonprofits and create equitable communities.
  • Demonstrated Results. We are committed to monitoring and measuring our partners’ progress over time through pre & post assessments and annual surveys that measure organizational growth and sustainability. On average, within five years of receiving a Fair Chance Praxis Partnership, alumni nonprofits more than double their revenue and the number of children served.

Interested in becoming a Fair Chance Partner? Click here to learn more about our Partnerships and our application process.

Please note, currently Fair Chance only accepts applications from organizations that provide programming for children, youth, and families experiencing poverty in Washington, DC.

Interested in giving nonprofits in your area a Fair Chance, visit our For Foundations & Government Agencies page to learn more about opportunities to work with Fair Chance.