Focusing Internally to Act Externally

Focusing Internally to Act Externally

In 2020, Fair Chance published our first annual update, Our Commitment to Action, documenting efforts since the initial publication of our Racial Equity Framework in 2019. This current report centers on the progress of our racial equity journey over the course of 2021. The centerpiece of our work this year was the completion of a racial equity audit.

With funding from the Meyer Foundation, Fair Chance hired consulting firm Building for Mission to conduct the audit. The process focused primarily on the “Employer Role” identified in the Framework and involved a review of our internal systems, culture, and practices. Through this process, Fair Chance surfaced several organizational strengths. These included strong relationships among staff, commitment to mission, a culture grounded in a commitment to equity, and practice of recognition and celebration. Growth opportunities included greater investment in learning and development, greater alignment of our equity commitment internally and externally (and breaking down siloes), and addressing inequitable practices and experiences with compensation and talent development at Fair Chance. More details on the findings are here:

Results of the audit were shared with staff and board in the spring of 2021. Since then, each department and the Board have worked on a road map with outcome-focused strategies to address opportunities raised in the audit. While the road map is still being developed, Fair Chance has begun to follow up in some areas, especially in the Employer and Leader role. The major highlights were:

  • As a result of Racial Equity Audit, selected Vega Mala Consulting to conduct a compensation equity analysis and to develop a new equity-informed compensation system.
  • Design of our external evaluation plan was equity-informed and engaged Fair Chance alumni in design and qualitative data collection.
  • In late 2021, we hired a consulting firm to support an organization-wide (including board, staff and other stakeholders) strategic visioning process with a REDI lens in advance of our 20th anniversary, and we anticipate more in depth strategic planning to take place in 2023 and beyond.
  • Facilitated four Fair Chance Fund calls that featured nonprofit partners to support meaningful connections with donors and supporters, resulting in a $50,000 matching fund and Fund member’s donations to partner organizations.
  • Delivered testimony before DC Council Committees in support of addition funding for nonprofits and on behalf of implementation of The Nonprofit Fair Compensation Act.

A summary of those activities is below:

Some of our 2022 work includes:

  • The final development and implementation of an innovative, equity-informed compensation system and performance management system.
  • The implementation of organization-wide REDI training(s) for staff and Board with a retreat.
  • The development and distribution of an equity-informed Strategic Vision.
  • Opportunities for donors and nonprofits to engage in relationship building and funding.