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Why Capacity Building?

National, about 12 million children – 17% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold. Because we believe a child’s zip code should not determine his or her future, we focus on strengthening the sustainability and performance of community-based nonprofits that provide educational and developmental opportunities for children and families in areas lacking access to quality education, health care and social services.

At Fair Chance, we increase the capacity of promising nonprofits to achieve critical outcomes predictive of life success. We ensure that strong, effective organizations are stable resources in the communities they serve — for years to come. And because small, community-based nonprofits cannot afford fee-based consulting services, we invest our expertise and management assistance support free of charge.

Our Capacity Building Areas

Based on research and Fair Chance’s years of experience, the following organizational competencies serve as the foundation upon which we build strong nonprofits. In our Partnerships, Fair Chance works selectively across these areas based on the strengths and needs of each nonprofit.

Board Development

A Board of Directors with the right mix of people and skill sets can be a tremendous benefit in furthering the organization’s mission. Whether a board is new, seasoned, or somewhere in between, Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • ensure members understand their roles and responsibilities
  • foster a culture of philanthropy on the Board
  • develop new member recruitment strategies
  • strengthen facilitation and planning of Board meetings and retreats
Financial Management

Smart financial planning practices that enable leaders to know how much money is needed, raised, and spent are essential for good nonprofit management. Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • develop sound budget practices
  • create and utilize financial tracking tools and internal controls
  • design policies and procedures manuals
  • draft financial reporting templates

Every nonprofit could have a greater impact with more resources. Based on an organization’s fundraising needs and strengths, Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • diversify and solidify funding bases
  • develop effective grant proposals and donor appeals
  • create comprehensive fundraising plans
  • build systems to identify, track, and  monitor funding sources
  • design strategies to communicate and work with the donor community
Human Resources

Staff and volunteers are often a nonprofit’s most valuable assets, which makes having the proper support, recognition, and accountability systems a critical factor for success. Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • create or upgrade personnel manuals
  • establish effective supervisory practices, including employee performance appraisals
  • optimize staffing structures
  • strengthen staff and volunteer recruitment, hiring, orientation, and training practices
Leadership Development

Nonprofit leaders often shoulder the weight of creating successful organizations by themselves. Through executive coaching and skills development, Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • create positive work environments
  • foster constructive working relationships between the Executive Director and Board Chair
  • develop strategies for major transitions and organizational changes
  • evolve Executive Director leadership skills as the organization grows
Program Evaluation

Nonprofits provide vital services, but need to have clarity, good measurement tools, and evaluation systems in order to ensure that their services are producing intended results. Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • create an evaluation plan, including outcomes and indicators
  • align mission/vision and outcomes
  • develop a theory of change and/or logic models
  • communicate evaluation results to key funders and other stakeholders
Outreach & Communications

In this time of information overload, nonprofits need to be able to effectively inform and engage the community. Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • create comprehensive outreach and communication plans
  • clarify target audiences and key messages
  • refine tools, including websites, brochures, and newsletters
  • utilize program results in sharing success stories
Resource Alignment

This area is only applicable to Pathways Partnerships. It combines key elements of financial management, human resources, and leadership development that are critical for small nonprofits that are more reliant on volunteers/unpaid staff. Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • create realistic and aspirational budgets
  • establish goals and design the workflow needed to attain those goals
  • improve coaching and supervising skills in order to more effectively manage volunteers
Planning & Strategy

Having a clear vision, mission, and strategy keeps everyone focused and working together to achieve common goals. Fair Chance typically works with leaders to:

  • develop annual goals and operational plans
  • design tools to monitor progress toward goals
  • revise mission and vision statements

Our Method

Our capacity building work transforms leaders and organizations – leading to more opportunities and better outcomes for children, youth, and their families.