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. Annually, we select cohorts of small nonprofits, predominantly led by people of color, and provide a unique capacity building program that strengthens organizational infrastructure and sustainability.

Our goal is to ensure these organizations are strong resources in their communities for years to come. Since 2002, we have served over 120 nonprofits in Washington, DC and Prince George’s County, MD. Results show that nonprofits that complete a Fair Chance Partnership go on to double their budget and double the number of children they serve — providing more opportunities and access to those most affected by poverty. Our model is necessary for our times.

The History of Fair Chance

When Fair Chance was founded by Amanda Marshall in 2002, our goal was to build the capacity of nonprofits serving children in DC’s Wards 7 & 8, the areas of the city most under-resourced and challenged by the impacts of structural racism. By 2003, Fair Chance began offering free capacity building to its first class of three nonprofits.  


Since then, Fair Chance has…  

  • Worked with over 120+ nonprofits serving over 100,000 children and youth
  • Expanded from a focus on DC’s Ward 7 and 8 to working with nonprofits serving children and families poverty across DC and Prince George’s County, Maryland
  • Developed three programs to meet the unique needs of community-based nonprofits
  • Contracted with government agencies and foundations to improve the effectiveness of grantees
  • Created Network Services to help nonprofits grow and thrive and to ensure our alumni are sustainable after they graduate from the Fair Chance Partnership
  • Developed our Racial Equity Framework to help us intentionally incorporate racial equity into all facets of our organization

Our Logo

Butterflies symbolize transformation and hope. The butterfly in our logo is inspired by the Maya Angelou quote: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”. The nonprofits we work with go through tremendous transformation during the Fair Chance partnership. Through hard work and collaboration with our staff, these nonprofits build better systems and processes and become more effective. And the data shows the beautiful results of this work: on average, alumni nonprofits go on to double their budgets and double the number of children they serve.  

Our Values

Fair Chance’s values guide our priorities and actions inside our organization and underlie our work in the community. They are critical to our unique and impactful approach to transforming the nonprofit sector and driving the social change that research shows is necessary to change the lives of children experiencing poverty. Our eight values are:


We hold ourselves accountable for the impact of our actions and regularly improve our work through key indicators of success


We are people of multiple ethnicities, identities, perspectives, and life experiences, and respect how that strengthens our work


We work to remove the structural barriers of racism and discrimination that are historical and current drivers of poverty


We use data to continuously improve programs and operations to achieve life-changing results for children and youth experiencing poverty


We build upon research and shared ideas to create ethical, forward-thinking, direct and systemic solutions


We model the effective nonprofit practices we teach and champion the role of community-based nonprofits


We invest in developing long-term relationships of trust with leaders and organizations who work with children, youth and families


We work with leaders to build strong, resilient, results-oriented community-based nonprofits