Latest News

Image: 2017 Bash 2017 Bash Most Successful Ever!
With over 700 guests in attendance at Dock 5, Union Market, Fair Chance raised nearly half a million dollars (with over $100,000 raised the night of!) to support our work achieving life-changing results for children and youth living in poverty. Read more about the night here and view photos on our facebook page here.
fcdc_logo.jpg Fair Chance Welcomes New Staff
Fair Chance is proud to announce the addition of four new staff members to our team: Mohammed Khader, Sallie Lampron, Alison Rincon, and Arthurine Walker. Learn more about our new team members here.
marie_and_wendell_johns-400w.jpg Fair Chance to Honor Marie & Wendell Johns at 2017 Butterfly Bash
Fair Chance is excited to announce Marie and Wendell Johns as the honorees of the 2017 Butterfly Bash. Marie and Wendell exemplify leadership in business, civic engagement, and government in Washington and have worked tirelessly to expand opportunities for young people and people of color. Learn more about the Johns here.
fcdc_logo.jpg Fair Chance Welcomes New Fair Chance Fund Members
Stephanie Saturni, representing the V & S Foundation, and Richard and Judith Morrissey are the newest members of the Fair Chance Fund. The Fair Chance Fund was created in 2016 to sustain and grow the work of Fair Chance, providing long-term management assistance for a select cohort of community-based non-profits serving children and youth. Learn more here.
fcdc_logo.jpg Fair Chance Welcomes New Fair Chance Fund Members
Stephanie Saturni, representing the V & S Foundation, and Richard and Judith Morrissey are the newest members of the Fair Chance Fund. The Fair Chance Fund was created in 2016 to sustain and grow the work of Fair Chance, providing long-term management assistance for a select cohort of community-based non-profits serving children and youth. Learn more here.
fcdc_logo.jpg VISTA Fellows Focus on their Careers
n Friday, July 28, the Fair Chance VISTA Fellows participated in training with two Deloitte consultants on networking and career planning. Learn more about the event here.
Fair Chance Welcomes New Board Members
Fair Chance is excited to introduce you to Fair Chance's newest additions to our Board of Directors. To learn more about our newest Board Members and their biographies, click here.
Undoing Racism Training
On June 19th and 20th, Fair Chance staff and members of our Board of Directors participated in the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond's Undoing Racism training. This training is a part of the ongoing conversations our staff and board are having about our collective values and outcomes, the Fair Chance capacity building model, and the context of where we work which is with nonprofits that serve communities of poverty in Washington, DC. To learn more about the training and it's implications for our work, click here.
EDLC: Building Your Financial Profile
This Executive Director Learning Community will focus on building your financial profile and managing your accounts in a way that improves your "bankability". This workshop is only open to Fair Chance partners. RSVP here.
Dubliner Golf Classic
On Monday, June 26th, over 140 golfers joined the Coleman Family, the staff of the Dubliner , and Fair Chance for the 39th Annual Dubliner Golf Classic. With the help of the entire Coleman Family, our golfers and sponsors, we raised nearly $60,000! MANY THANKS to everyone who golfed with us, our generous sponsors and the terrific staff at Glenn Dale Golf Club! For photos of the event, click here.
2017 Fair Chance Honors Event
On Monday, April 24, nearly 200 supporters and friends gathered at Studio Theatre to celebrate our 2017 graduating nonprofit partners and the 15th Anniversary of the founding of Fair Chance. We also presented Community Champion awards to The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation for continuously funding us over our history as well as former board members Jeffrey Drichta and JoJo Spallone for their leadership. To learn more click here.
SoulCycle Ride for Fair Chance
For 45 minutes on Sunday, March 12, a packed studio of Fair Chance SoulCyclers rode hard and raised nearly $15k for our work with inspiring child- and youth-serving nonprofits in DC! Special thanks to hosts Patrick Chauvin, Myles King and Chauvin House, as well as partners Compass Real Estate and SoulCycle West End for making this fun and hugely successful event possible.
New BCG Fellows
The 2017 BCG Fellows cohort began on January 27. The program participants in this cohort are DC Greens, Horizons Greater Washington, and Urban Ed. Learn more about the cohort here.
SoulCycle 2017
Join us for our SoulCycle Ride with Fair Chance on Sunday, March 12. Buy your tickets here.
New Pathways Program Participant
Fair Chance is excited to announce Bethany, Inc. as our newest Pathways Program participant. Bethany, Inc. is sponsored by the Coleman Multifinance Team at Walker & Dunlop, our first corporate sponsor of a Pathways participant. Learn more about their partnership here.
Impact Academy Update
On Tuesday, December 14, Fair Chance's Impact Academy pilot partners attended a day-long institute on Adaptive Leadership. Participants worked on organizational management techniques and leadership skills through interactive activities and presentations. Impact Academy partner Nicole Lynn Lewis, Executive Director of Generation Hope, said what she enjoyed most about the workshop was, " having the space to think about the future growth of Generation Hope and being able to brainstorm with my Director of Programming during the process.
Applications Open for 2017 Fair Chance Partnership
Applications for the 2017 Fair Chance Partnership year are due January 9, 2017. Learn more about the partnership and eligibility requirements here.
Impact Academy Pilot Cohort Selected
We are pleased to announce the selection of three outstanding Fair Chance alumni to participate in a brand new program called "The Impact Academy". The Impact Academy builds upon Fair Chance's traditional partnership providing a stronger emphasis on program design, outcome measurements, and building a performance management culture. The three partners selected for our pilot cohort are: Generation Hope, Homeless Children's Playtime Project, and Project Create. Learn more about our new program here.
Partnership with The Bridgespan Group
Fair Chance is thrilled to announce a new collaborative partnership with The Bridgespan Group (TBG). Through a partnership with the Meyer Foundation, TBG is delivering a new strategic leadership program for DC area nonprofits called "Leading for Impact." TBG is committed to working with 50 nonprofits in DC over the next four years and have selected Fair Chance as their local partner. Learn more about this partnership here.
Host Committee Kick Off Party
On Wednesday, September 21, our Butterfly Bash Host Committee, friends, and supporters came together for a toast to the good work raising $270,000 in sponsorships to date and to energize each other to get out and sell tickets to the event. Learn more about the Kick Off here.
2016 Butterfly Bash Honorees: Debbi and Ernie Jarvi
We are proud to announce that we will be honoring Debbi and Ernie Jarvis at the 2016 Fair Chance Butterfly Bash on October 21, 2016, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Learn more about our honorees here.
Gretchen Van der Veer Speaks at Nonprofit Capacity Conference
On September 13, Fair Chance's Executive Director, Gretchen Van der Veer spoke on a panel at the third workshop of the 2016 Nonprofit Capacity Conference on "How to Use a Little Data to Make a Big Impact on Your Nonprofit".
Connecting Learning to Employment and Other Opportunities for DC Youth
One of life's major challenges for young people is making the translation between required classes in school and their interests outside of school into actual marketable skills aligned with potential future jobs. That's why Fair Chance is pleased to be collaborating with the District of Learning DOL -- an ecosystem for anytime-anywhere learning that helps teens and young adults create learning paths that transcend multiple environments, and take ownership of their paths to college and career. Learn More
Common_Good_City_Farm-375x231.jpg Fair Chance Celebrates Summer Learning Day
In collaboration with District of Learning, Fair Chance was honored to join White House staff and DC Government officials to celebrate National Summer Learning Day on July 14. We visited three Fair Chance partners working towards building strong summer programs for DC youth: Common Good City Farm (shown), The MusicianShip, and Y.O.U.R. Community Center.
DOL_DistrictOfLearning_logo-164w.gif Fair Chance Becomes Temporary Fiscal Agent of District of Learning
District of Learning, in partnership with DC government and other partners, identifies learning opportunities across the District so young people can pursue their passions and take charge of their path to college and careers. Fair Chance stepped in as fiscal agent through September 30th with the possibility of continuation, and we are excited to be work with the dedicated District of Learning team!
Eagle_372-220x164.jpg Dubliner Golf Classic
On Monday, June 27, 140 golfers came out to Glenn Dale Golf Club for the 38th Annual Dubliner Golf Classic. With the help of the entire Coleman Family, our golfers and sponsors, the tournament raised a NEW RECORD of nearly $65,000.
Silverman_Partners_Photo.jpg EDLC
On Wednesday, May 25, Fair Chance held an Executive Director Learning Community titled "Advocacy for Local Nonprofits," in partnership with DC Alliance of Youth Advocates. Fair Chance Partners and Alumni were able to meet with members of the DC Council to discuss Out of School Time funding, solutions for homeless families, and workforce development. Our thanks go to Councilmember Silverman for her support.
Best_Fair_Chance_Fund-small.jpg Fair Chance Launches New Philanthropic Impact Fund
At Graduation, Fair Chance celebrated the launch of the "Fair Chance Fund" and recognized it's founding members: Mary Pat and Darren Alcus, Carrie and David Marriott, Jane and Esko Korhonen, and Amanda and Alex Marshall. This new philanthropic impact fund will provide additional support for Fair Chance to achieve targeted outcomes with its high-potential, youth-serving nonprofits working in DC's poorest neighborhoods.
Washington, DC - On Monday, April 11, eight youth-serving nonprofits will graduate from Fair Chance's intensive organizational management program. This year's graduating nonprofits are Common Good City Farm,   DC Youth Orchestra Program,   The Grassroot Project,   Groundwork Anacostia River DC,   One Common Unity,   Wise Young Builders,   Young Playwrights' Theater,   and Youth Leadership Foundation.  Selected through a rigorous vetting process, these organizations provide vital programming in areas such as math skills, social emotional learning, mentorship, job preparation, and violence prevention for youth in poverty across DC.

Fair Chance is a social change organization that strengthens the sustainability and performance of community-based nonprofits to achieve life-changing results for children and youth living in poverty. High potential youth-serving nonprofits are selected for "partnership" and receive a deep investment of comprehensive expertise in organizational management for up to two years. Nonprofit partners continue to receive support after they graduate through alumni network services specifically designed to foster greater collaboration and sharing of knowledge. Data shows that Fair Chance nonprofit partners grow and are more sustainable: within five years of receiving a Fair Chance partnership, organizations reported 50% median increases in the number of children served as well as revenue raised to support their operations.

2015 Fair Chance graduate Healthy Babies Project, Inc.   (HBP) connects high-risk, pregnant teen mothers and families to health care, social services, transitional housing, and educational opportunities. The rate of repeat pregnancy for teen mothers in DC is 23%; teen mothers at HBP have a repeat pregnancy rate of 1.5%. Regine Elie, Executive Director of HBP, had this to say about her Fair Chance partnership experience: "...we increased the numbers of youth we work with by 40%, expanding our reach into the communities most in need, specifically in Wards 7 & 8... We've increased our budget by thirty- five percent over the last year. This allows us to build upon our legacy and insures that we are a safe haven for years to come."

The 2016 Graduation ceremony will take place on Monday, April 11 at 6:30pm, with generous support from Studio Theatre. This event is open to the press..

WHAT: Fair Chance Graduation and Celebration
WHEN: Monday, April 11, 2016, 6:30pm
WHERE: Studio Theatre, 1501 14th ST, NW, Washington, DC, 20005
RSVP: Salome Odera, 202-821-1791 or
Gretchen_Headshot.jpg Message from the Executive Director- Beating the "Nonprofit Starvation Cycle"
Recently, Maggie Riden, Executive Director of DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) and I had the pleasure of discussing the challenges and opportunities of working with funders with 12 of Fair Chance partner and alumni Executive Directors. We used a 2009 Stanford Innovation Review article entitled "The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle," as a thought-piece. The article is built on the premise that most funders prefer to fund programs rather than overhead. In fact, according to the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, most funders report less than 10% of total grant dollars as general operating support. As a result, most nonprofits misrepresent their true costs in order to compete successfully, resulting in inadequate infrastructure to support operations or fuel future growth. It also has the effect of reinforcing unrealistic foundation expectations and understanding of true costs. Fair Chance partners identified this as part of their everyday reality.

In particular, they are frustrated that foundations and government agencies are increasingly requiring impact measures and data collection, but are unwilling to fund the additional costs of these activities. Other challenges shared included a lack of multi-year grant funding; changing funder priorities from year to year; and aversion to risk, which stunts nonprofit innovation. Partners, however, were able to identify the following opportunities to explore together: educating funders about the true costs of doing business; collaborating on joint funding requests; exploring new funding strategies and alternative business models, and finding common indicators that tell a common story across issue areas or geography. Partners also emphasized that executive directors must embrace advocacy as a necessary skill in order to be effective.

Several participating leaders agreed to meet again to work on several of the above identified opportunities. I look forward to bringing their ideas to you in future publications.
Soul_Cycle_2016.jpg SoulCyclers for Fair Chance
On March 13th, Fair Chance sponsored the second annual Ride for Fair Chance at Soul Cycle's West End Studio. All tiers of bikes were filled as Fair Chance supporters and friends packed the studio. Top instructors Natalia and Garrett led everyone through the energetic 45-minute spin class. The event raised over $14,000 to support Fair Chance's work to put more children and youth on a pathway out of poverty. Many thanks to all who participated with special appreciation to Patrick Chauvin , Myles King, and Steve Whisnant for co-hosting this great event.
ICIC.jpg Successful Pilot of New "Pathways" Program with Inner City Inner Child
The Pathways Program has been designed for smaller community-based organizations who might not yet be ready for a full partnership. The program focuses on two to four areas of organizational competency derived from Fair Chance's traditional capacity building program: leadership development, program evaluation, board development, and fundraising. The engagement takes place weekly at up to six hours a week and over a period of six months. We are happy to announce the successful completion of our pilot Pathways Program partnership with Inner City Inner Child (ICIC).

In her pilot evaluation, Ingid Zimmer, Executive Director of ICIC, wrote, "though this six month partnership was meant to only cover evaluation and financial areas -- leadership and board development were also strengthened through our engagement with Fair Chance. As a result of our work together, I am a stronger, more focused leader. My board is re-invigorated and possesses a new sense of purpose around ICIC's mission.

We are proud of ICIC's accomplishments as an organization and are excited to incorporate our findings from this pilot into future Pathways Program engagements. We want to thank the Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation and Nancie Suzuki and Tom DiGenno for their generous support of this effort.
BCG_Fellows_1.jpg New Partnership with Boston Consulting Group
We are pleased to announce that we started 2016 by officially launching our partnership with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on January 15. This partnership is a unique pro-bono opportunity exclusive to Fair Chance alumni and involves two teams of two top consultants paired with two competitively selected Fair Chance alumni organizations. During last week's Orientation program, participating BCG consultants met with selected alumni Executive Directors -- R. Daniel Okonkwo of DC Lawyers for Youth (Class of 2013) and Eloise Russo of City Kids (Class of 2014) for the first time. Each will receive 1-2 hours of consulting/coaching support per week for one full year as well as consulting on specific mini-projects designed to collectively advance the strategic work and/or growth of the organization. We are excited to offer this opportunity for Fair Chance alumni and want to thank Brad Loftus, Nick Goad, and Cindy Yu for your leadership of this effort on behalf of BCG, as well as participating consultants Claudia Newman-Martin, Sam Christophersen, Raamin Mostaghimi, and Kutay Muslu.
EDLC.jpg Executive Director Learning Community
On December 15, 2015, Executive Directors from fourteen Fair Chance alumni partner organizations met at the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) headquarters to discuss collective impact and action. At this Executive Director Learning Community, Issac Castillo (Deputy Director, DCPNI), Mary Brown (Executive Director of DCPNI), and Gretchen Van Der Veer (Executive Director, Fair Chance) facilitated a conversation around ways partner organizations can leverage their strengths and differences with one another to affect greater change in the communities they serve.
Golf.jpg Dubliner Golf Classic benefitting Fair Chance
Thank you to everyone who came out for the 2015 Dubliner Golf Classic at Glenn Dale Golf Club. It was a beautiful day and we were honored to be chosen as the beneficiary of the tournament proceeds. Special thanks to the Coleman family for their incredible support of Fair Chance! Check out more pictures.
dconn_sm.jpg Deeper Connections: Using Cloud Based Technology to Accelerate Performance
On June 2nd Fair Chance partnered with 501CTech and Southpoint Consulting, Inc. to host a Deeper Connections workshop. Attendees learned how CRM systems can initiate greater collaboration among staff, enhance outreach to increase raised dollars, and streamline operations to boost efficiency.
morningmeetups.jpg Morning Meetups with Fair Chance
Guests were given a deeper insight into our work and learned more about Fair Chance's unique partnership model during our Morning Meetup Open House on June 3rd. Executive Director of Reach Inc. Mark Hecker, Fair Chance Alumnus Class of 2013 and Capacity Building Specialist Reginald Grant candidly shared their experiences during partnership to give attendees a more intimate understanding of how our model works.
2015_bash_kickoff.jpg 2015 Butterfly Bash Kickoff
Friends and supporters of Fair Chance gathered on May 7th to kick off the 2015 Butterfly Bash Host Committee. We were thrilled to announce Catherine Merrill Williams, President and Publisher of Washingtonian Media, as the 2015 Butterfly Bash Honoree for her dedication to youth-serving nonprofits. The event, hosted by Compass Real Estate, Joiwind and Amit Ronen, and Bash Co-Chairs Mandy Mills and Anne Mahlum welcomed Host Committee members and celebrated the sponsors that have already committed to supporting the November gala.
2015partners.jpg Youth-Serving Nonprofits Selected for Fair Chance Partnership
We proudly announce the addition of six new Fair Chance partner organizations to our network of nonprofits transforming the lives youth across the District of Columbia. They join The Grassroot Project and Young Playwrights' Theater to form the graduating Class of 2016. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming our new partners to the Fair Chance network!
2015_chargeup.png The Charge Up Collaborative
Fair Chance is proud to be 1 of 15 members of The Charge Up Collaborative, a partnership of the leading capacity builders in the greater Washington region to improve the sustainability, quality, and impact of the nonprofit sector. Visit for easy access to a wide range of capacity building services available to the nonprofit sector.
2015graduation_sm.jpg Fair Chance Honors Ten Nonprofits at 2015 Graduation
Ten enterprising youth-serving nonprofits that work in Washington, DC's most underserved communities graduated on Monday, April 20th from an intensive, year-long program provided by Fair Chance to increase their organizational effectiveness.
april2015edlc.jpg Executive Director Learning Community
On Wednesday, April 15th a group of Fair Chance Partner Executive Directors gathered at Project Create Studio to discuss The Performance Imperative and the seven habits of highly effective organizations.
gfpowell.jpg Fair Chance Welcomes Director of Programs
Fair Chance welcomes Gina Fulbright-Powell as our Director of Programs and Evaluation. A former member of our Board of Directors, Gina has many years of experience in capacity building and was a part of the launch of AmeriCorps, the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, and the Social Innovation Fund. While on staff at the Peace Corps, she provided management oversight for training programs for volunteers serving local communities and strengthening the capacity of nongovernmental organizations in Africa.

Gina earned a Master of Science in Organization Development from American University/NTL Institute, a Master of Arts in Guidance and Career Counseling, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She is also a certified Program/Project Manager.

soulcycle.jpg SoulCycle Ride for Fair Chance
On March 7th we held a fundraising ride at Soul Cycle DC and raised over $8,000 to improve the lives of DC youth. Thank you to all who participated with special thanks to Soul Cycle DC, Sweet Greens, as well as Myles King and Patrick Chauvin for your support!
fcdc_logo.jpg Fair Chance Informational Webinars
In February 2015 Fair Chance hosted two free informational webinars, The Fair Chance Partnership: How to Apply 2015 and Inside the Fair Chance Partnership. Watch to learn more about the Partnership's impact on organizations and leaders and to hear personal perspectives from a Fair Chance Capacity Building Specialist and Alumni Partner.
openhouse2015.png Fair Chance February Open House
The first Fair Chance Open House of 2015 was held on February 4th. Guests visited our office to learn about Fair Chance's unique partnership model with youth-serving nonprofits and received information about the Spring 2015 Partnership Application and other opportunities to engage. Attendees were able to hear from one of our nonprofit partners and gain an understanding of how the Fair Chance model works from a Capacity Building Specialist. The next Open House will be May 13, 2015.
partners_2015.jpg Fair Chance Welcomes New Partners
Fair Chance is excited to welcome two new partners, The Grassroot Project and Young Playwrights' Theater, to our growing network. Please join us in celebration and learn more about these amazing community organizations.