Along with a colleague, I started a nonprofit organization in 2002 to serve incarcerated youth in Washington, DC. By a huge stroke of luck, we found out about Fair Chance and were granted a capacity building partnership in 2006. We called that the year that we attended “Fair Chance University.” I learned so much about what it takes to build and manage a successful nonprofit. I honestly believe that without Fair Chance’s guidance and support, we would not be here today. Because of Fair Chance, we developed a strong and forward looking budget, sound fiscal management policies, a communications strategy which included the development and launch of our organization’s website, built a strong working board of directors and most importantly, hooked into the unparalleled network of nonprofit organizations serving children and families East of the River. Rather than competing with each other for the limited funds available to nonprofits in the city, Fair Chance partners are a unique bunch of caring individuals who work together sharing ideas and resources because we all have the same goal of lifting up the children and youth that we all serve. The staff at Fair Chance nurtures and engenders this collaboration. Fair Chance is like family to us. Even though our partnership is technically over, they have continued to advise and guide us over the years. If they don’t have the answer to our question, they know who does. I would advise anyone who is just beginning to build a nonprofit organization to apply for a partnership with Fair Chance!