Ferguson Road Initiative

Working Together — For the Greater Good.

aka FRI   |   Dallas, TX   |  http://www.fergusonroad.org


The mission of the Ferguson Road Initiative (FRI) is to engage and empower a community of advocates to advance a safe, beautiful, prosperous and proud community. Increasing safety and decreasing crime in the community. Beautify and maintaining the whole community. Securing funding to implement capital improvement projects. Providing education, recreation, social service and volunteer opportunities. Increasing economic development in Far East Dallas, both residential and business. Collaborating with faith organizations and community service nonprofits.

Notes from the nonprofit

Strategic Plan and Agency Metrics Uploaded under other category.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Vikki J. Martin

Main address

P.O. Box 570417

Dallas, TX 75357 USA

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NTEE code info

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Neighborhood/Block Associations (S22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Ferguson Road Initiative (FRI) is committed to a "holistic" approach to neighborhood revitalization in Far East Dallas. Our population is 91,000 and is unique in that it is ethnically and economically diverse. 92% of our public school children qualify for the free lunch program. Median income is $40,000 and 30% of our population has no high school degree or GED. We currently are addressing 4 identified community needs. Recreation Gap: the Parks and Recreation Dept. of the City of Dallas has confirmed there is a Recreation Gap whereby people living along the lower Ferguson Road corridor have no access to recreation opportunities. Education Gap: we work to help students be college ready . Food Desert: the USDA has designated our community as a qualified Food Desert as many in our community have no access to fresh and affordable produce. Medical Desert: many of our residents lack access to medical services as there are few doctors' offices or medical providers in our community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance--VITA

The Ferguson Road Initiative Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps individuals in the Dallas community by preparing tax returns using IRS software and transmitting the returns electronically to the IRS. Volunteers from our Far East Dallas community and students from the University of Texas at Dallas majoring in accounting help to prepare basic income tax returns free of charge for individuals of low to moderate income, individuals with disabilities, non-English speaking taxpayers, and the elderly.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Launched in 2015, this program is managed by the Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions and FRI is a partner in this program.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Business of the Year 2019

Greaater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Dollars saved in tax preparation fees

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Undocumented immigrants

Related Program

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance--VITA

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Free tax returns completed and filed through VITA program. Tax returns for tax year 2021 completed during this past year were impacted by pandemic restrictions.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

GOAL 1: Mission Achievement - Transform Far East Dallas into a safe, beautiful, prosperous and proud community by working together to achieve a shared vision.

Engage and develop Neighborhood Leaders.
Maintain crime reduction in the community.
Secure Future (2018-2019) Bond Funds for Capital Improvements and Community Infrastructure.
Become a “green," and beautiful community.
Increase homeownership and property values in our service area.

GOAL 2: Community Outreach - Increase community engagement, awareness, and support.
Increase Community Connection membership, activity, and value.
Increase engagement in volunteer and fundraising opportunities thru a comprehensive Community Connection “Membership Marketing Plan."
Break ground on the White Rock Hills Park.
Include a bike lane to tie into the City trail system along Highland Road.
Complete strategic plan for the Owenwood Community Center that will include program planning, staffing, and funding.
Create a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community or Senior Village pilot program that will can be scaled and replicated within other areas of the community as well as serving as a model for other Dallas communities.
Complete street improvements in the Casa View area that will include ways to slow traffic and be more pedestrian friendly.

GOAL 3: Financial Sustainability - Ensure financial integrity and long-term sustainability.
Increase Financial Capacity and Efficiency.
Develop and implement a Fund Development Plan to increase all sources of revenue.
Develop a projected staffing budget and set hiring priorities, estimated costs and benchmarks for hiring.

GOAL 4: Mission Support - Develop an Effective and Efficient Infrastructure.
Secure office space with a 5-year commitment.
Increase efficiency with technology.
Automate membership maintenance by exploring outsourcing membership maintenance.

GOAL 5: Knowledge and Talent - People with the right knowledge and talents are positioned to support FRI.
Build BOARD capacity, leadership, and knowledge of nonprofit governance.
Build the STAFF capacity, leadership, succession and nonprofit management.
Formalize the Volunteer Program.
Update governing documents to comply with recent changes in Texas Nonprofit Law.

We are working to address the lack of recreation and community social service programs/services in our community in order to increase the quality of life for ALL especially the vulnerable in our area. Our two fastest growing demographics, youth and seniors, lack many opportunities and services that will help improve their lives. Services will include an Urban Farm, Community Gardens, Diaper Bank, Early Childhood, Senior and Inter generational programs, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Financial Wellness, and Resource/Information Center.

GOAL 1: Mission Achievement

Our Communication Program updates our residents through our news magazine, electronic newsletter, social media, meetings, and special events. By bringing people together, we are able to identify, recruit and train community leadership.
Crime is at an all-time low because FRI has unified and grown Crime Watch and Volunteer In Patrol programs. By sharing our methods of consensus building, we empower folks to create their own strategies.
Bond Funds in 2017 focused on street improvements and included $200,000 for Design and Construction documents a next step in building the White Rock Hills Community Recreation CENTER.
We do not have a strategy to create a “green" community at this time. We continue to host an annual Litter Clean Up Event.
Property values in our area are at an all-time high.

GOAL 2: Community Outreach
To increase Membership we added a Membership Administrator to our staff.
In 2017 500 volunteers donated 6,500 hours of service for a value of $157,000!
Ground breaking for the White Rock Hills Park and reconstruction of Highland Road begins in 2018. This will be Phase I of the CENTER project.
Next year DCCCD will partner with FRI and the United Methodist Church to provide planning to help us create a strategy to transform Owenwood United Methodist Church into a Community Center. Programs will begin immediately, scaled and replicated later when the CENTER is built.
We are partnering with Determination Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to establishing the first Senior Village program in the city.
Street improvements at the intersection of Ferguson/Gus Thomasson have begun and will be completed by 2018.

GOAL 3: Financial Sustainability
The FRI Board is poised to launch a Fund Development Plan to increase revenue, capacity and efficiency.
In 2017 we raised $30,000 in the North Texas Giving Day campaign and we are positioning our Board President to return as our Executive Director. She is currently working on to increase philanthropic partnerships.
Projected staffing budget, hiring priorities, and estimated costs will be accomplished in 2018.

GOAL 4: Mission Support
We have recently consolidated all resources into one administrative office space.
Our staff is making progress in mastering our SalesForce database.
We will explore outsourcing membership maintenance at a later time.

GOAL 5: Knowledge and Talent
Our President has completed a Fund Development Program and is working to build a culture of philanthropy throughout our organization, including building board capacity and leadership.
The President is training Staff to help build philanthropic partners. We will be exploring a succession plan in the spring and looking at the future of the organization.
A Volunteer Manager is needed to grow a viable Volunteer Program and will be developed in the future.
All Board materials are updated and comply with Texas Nonprofit Law.

GOAL 1: Mission Achievement

We have contract personnel in place who oversee our communications program. Staff and volunteers coordinate and conduct town hall meetings and special events. Pro bono and paid consultants help us with leadership building.
We partner with the Police Department in growing crime prevention programs.
Bond Program campaigns rely on volunteers representing each of our neighborhood zones to represent their community.
Our volunteer Economic Development Committee oversees and ensures the next steps in getting the White Rock Hills Community Recreation CENTER are on track.
Sponsorships are raised to conduct annual Litter Clean-Up Event, paying a stipend for an event coordinator. Vendors donate supplies and food. In 2017 more than 225 volunteers helped with this event.
Property values remain high because crime is low.

GOAL 2: Community Outreach
Revenue has been raised to add a Membership Administrator to our staff to grow FRI membership.
We do not have a Volunteer Coordinator at this time. Our staff and board help with events that require volunteer management.
Our volunteer Economic Development Committee oversees the design/construction for the White Rock Hills Park and reconstruction of Highland Road.
Dallas County Community College is providing pro bono Compression Planning services to ensure a strategy for the Owenwood Community Center transformation. Programs will be managed and overseen by the Methodist Church.
The East Dallas Senior Coalition works with Determination Inc. in establishing the first Naturally Occurring Retirement Community program in the city. A senior needs assessment survey is planned.
Greater Casa View Alliance volunteers oversee and manage the street improvement project at the intersection of Ferguson/Gus Thomasson.

GOAL 3: Financial Sustainability
Our Board has transformed from a stakeholder board to one that is engaged in meeting the organization's mission. They work with the President in creating a viable Fund Development Plans to increase revenue, capacity and efficiency.
The Board Governance Committee is working to install a new President so that our current one can move into a pro bono Executive Director position. Her job will be to increase philanthropic partnerships.

GOAL 4: Mission Support
Community partners enable us to maintain a viable volunteer based organization. Our office space is housed in a separate building at an area apartment community.
We have a budget for training our staff in utilizing our SalesForce database.

GOAL 5: Knowledge and Talent
Our President uses the tools she has learned in Fundraising and works with Board and Staff to ensure a culture of philanthropy is systemic throughout our organization.
We have the resources to pay professionals who will lead us to create a succession plan.
Volunteers are managed by Staff and our current President.
A local law firm contributed services so Board materials comply with Texas Nonprofit Law.

The Ferguson Road Initiative was established in 1998 as a 501c3 nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the complete restoration of Far East Dallas. Underserved for decades, we suffered from out-of-control crime, business degeneration, poor school achievement, plummeting property values, slum-like apartments, and urban blight. Awarded (2) $1MM DOJ Weed & Seed grants from 2000-2011, we successfully reduced overall crime in targeted areas aby 25% and violent crime by 61%, unified neighborhoods (growing from 5 to 36), netted $38MM in bond funding that included a $8.5MM library and acquired land for a community/recreation center, improved our schools, and helped facilitate $210MM in in retail and mixed income housing. Once our federal funds expired, we streamlined services, right-sized our staff, and successfully transitioned into a self-sustaining membership model.

FRI's next BIG dream is to build the White Rock Hills Community Recreation Center to help provide the Recreation Gap that currently exists along the lower Ferguson Road corridor. Phase I of this project will include the White Rock Hills neighborhood park which will partially address the recreation needs of this community. It will also include the reconstruction of Highland Road from Ferguson to the NBSF Railroad tracks by 2019. Our park will include a ¼ mile walking trail loop, iconic playground, and an athletic field that will serve as a placeholder until an urban farm partner can be secured is planned. The park will be linked to the 17.5 mile Trinity Forest Spine, White Rock South Creek, Santa Fe, and Katy Trails. The feasibility study/master plan for this project was completed and approved by the Park Board in 2015. In the meantime, FRI is partnering with White Rock United Methodist Church to develop a community center 1.5 miles NE of our park site, Owenwood Community Center, that will provide quality of life programs and services NOW for the vulnerable in our community. These programs will address the key gaps that were described in the “Problem Overview" section of this document: Food and Medical Desert, and Education and Recreation Gaps. Once program and service partners are identified and the programs up and running, we will easily be able to scale and replicate these programs at the White Rock Hills Community Recreation Center when it is built, hopefully in the next Bond Program.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome


Ferguson Road Initiative

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Ferguson Road Initiative

Board of directors
as of 02/25/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Daniel Ortman


Term: 2020 - 2021

Board co-chair

Mr. Christopher Jackson


Term: 2020 - 2021

Bill Coleman

Gary Hasty

Heroes House

Dan Ortman

Forest Hills N.A.

Daniel Clayton

Clear Color Digital

Christopher Jackson


Matt Nicolette

Lakeland Hills N.A.

Christopher Rebuck

Bishop Lynch H.S.

Becky Reed

Lone Star C.U.

Dolores Sosa Green

John Van Buskirk

Claremont Addition N.A.

Jared Greco

Crowe Consulting

Pilar Johnson

Frost Bank

Shawn Lovelady

City Hospital

Eddie Tealer

Dallas College @ Eastfield

Carmen Parra

CMIT Solutions

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/29/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/27/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.