What We Do

Fair Chance works with nonprofit organizations through two main initiatives:

Core Partnership Program

Our partnership model - up to 350 hours of free capacity building services per nonprofit - results in stronger organizations and significant and lasting benefits for the children they serve. Our services are provided by professional Capacity Building Specialists with extensive skills and experience in the nonprofit sector.

Partnership Cycle

Partnership Timeline

Application and Selection
10 partners are selected annually through a rigorous vetting process.

Assessment and Workplan:
We develop a comprehensive and customized work plan with measureable goals used as a map for the partnership year.

First Year Partnership:
Executive directors receive eight hours of free weekly coaching and training sessions (up to 350 hours).

Each organization celebrates their transformative growth at the Fair Chance graduation ceremony.

Network Services:
Partners join a vibrant alumni network connected by geography and purpose- receiving skills-based training, peer-learning opportunities, and pro bono support, for continued growth.

To learn more about the benefits of our partnership click here.

Network Services

Fair Chance is committed to the sustainability and growth of our partners even after their graduation from our partnership program. Our array of network services, available almost exclusively to our partner and alumni organizations, provides access to continued learning opportunities within a rich, supportive community. These services supplement one-on-one partnership work during an organization's partnership years and provide additional support, professional development, and networking to alumni partners. All partner and alumni organizations have access in perpetuity to all network services.

Fair Chance's widely utilized network services include quarterly workshops and clinics, peer networking and learning through the Executive Director Learning Community, pro bono legal services from Hogan Lovells, and access to our online partner e-Forum.


With the goal of providing training for nonprofit professionals so that they are better prepared to respond to the needs of their organizations, Fair Chance offers quarterly workshops/clinics designed around best practice resources to the Washington, DC nonprofit community. We value the experience of nonprofit leaders and aim to provide ongoing learning to help executive directors, managers, staff, board members, and other key stakeholders strengthen their skills.

Fair Chance's workshops/clinics address a number of pertinent topics aligned with our Eight Service Areas. Our workshops create opportunities for executives to learn from one another and build relationships with other nonprofit leaders, while also receiving expert knowledge and tools in management, governance, fund development, human resources, technology, fiscal issues, and many other topic areas from top-notch trainers and consultants.

Fair Chance offers four free or low-cost workshops/clinics for partner organizations annually. Periodically we may also open these training opportunities to youth-serving nonprofits (non-Fair Chance partners) in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia at or below market ticket price.

ED Learning Community

Nonprofit leaders require skills, knowledge, and drive to transform their organizations as the circumstances demand, while building the foundation for future strength and growth.

Fair Chance’s Executive Director Learning Community is an opportunity for nonprofit executive directors to spend two hours together on an ongoing quarterly basis to learn from each other through peer support. In the learning community format, executive directors learn in a way that both complements their day-to-day work and provides an opportunity to explore topics of interest, which can lead to increased effectiveness on the job.

These sessions are convened by Fair Chance and at times facilitated by Gretchen Van der Veer, Fair Chance's Executive Director. Topics are driven by the needs of the participants. The Executive Director Learning Community is open to Fair Chance partner executive directors only.


Regardless of mission and budget size, Fair Chance encourages our partner organizations to follow federal and state laws and regulations. We also understand the challenges that nonprofits face in identifying, securing, and retaining qualified legal support to ensure that they are meeting their legal demands. These obstacles force many nonprofits to operate without professional guidance even when they must address important legal and governance matters.

In response to these challenges, Fair Chance has partnered with Hogan Lovells to best serve its partners with legal support and counsel. Our goal is to support our partners in retaining qualified legal support to address their legal needs. All Fair Chance partners and alumni are eligible for legal free services through Hogan Lovells.


Fair Chance encourages collaboration and knowledge-sharing across our network of partner and alumni nonprofits. To help our partner organizations connect and work together as easily as possible, Fair Chance provides an online e-Forum and listserv for partners to efficiently communicate with all members of the network.

The e-Forum, exclusively for partner executive directors, is an online space where partners and alumni can easily access the collective knowledge and expertise of the Fair Chance network. Participants ask questions and receive quick, valuable recommendations and input from our partner executive directors on a wide range of organizational management and logistical topics, from human resources policy to vendor recommendations. The e-Forum also provides a venue for partners and Fair Chance capacity building specialists to share and spread relevant community information like funding and pro bono opportunities, events, quality resources and articles, and training/workshop announcements.

All partner executive directors gain access to the e-Forum at the onset of their partnership and retain their membership as Fair Chance alumni. Members can post to the forum immediately upon joining.