In the 4th quarter of 2014, Foundation Beyond Belief engaged in an experiment. Instead of our usual five beneficiaries, FBB combined our member donations into one high-impact capacity-building grant—the Compassionate Impact Grant. Our first CIG beneficiary was the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI).

DSNI is an innovative organization focused on raising the quality of life and lifting families out of poverty in a single area of South Boston. They started 30 years ago as a grassroots collaborative and eventually built an evidence-based urban renewal model so effective that it has drawn federal programmatic support, is studied in urban planning graduate programs, and serves as a model for similar projects around the U.S.

During the selection process, FBB requested proposals from a broad range of organizations, seeking a strong nonprofit with proven evidence-based programming that was prepared to substantially increase its capacity.

Using the money raised by Foundation Beyond Belief members, DSNI will implement Phase II of the Fair Chance for Family Success Initiative, an initiative focused on empowering individual families to develop strong community relationships while setting financial goals and receiving education and training to strengthen their economic security. The program uses staff from within the community. The pilot phase of this program was funded by The Boston Foundation earlier this year, and our grant will enable continued growth and expansion in 2015.

DSNI has identified specific goals regarding training new facilitators and recruiting new residents to the program. They are also developing young adult and youth employees to identify prospective residents to develop supportive cohorts of peers.

We are thrilled to be partnering with DSNI and look forward to making a profound impact in the lives of families not only in the Dudley Street neighborhood, but in cities across the U.S. that are studying and adopting the Dudley Street model.