Meet Post Award Finalist: Calvary Women’s Services

Calvary Women’s Services offers housing, health, employment and education programs that empower homeless women in Washington, D.C. to change their lives. Founded in 1983, their programs carry out their mission to offer “a safe, caring place for tonight; support, hope and change for tomorrow.” These programs include transitional and permanent housing, personalized case management, life skills and education opportunities, job training, health and wellness services, on-site therapy, and daily addiction recovery meetings. Calvary Women’s Services believes that every woman has the strengths and gifts she needs to be successful. Each woman in their programs identifies and builds on her strengths, meeting her goals for safe housing, good health, and financial independence.


Q & A with Calvary Women's Services

1. What does this award mean for you and your organization?

Calvary Women’s Services is honored and excited to be a finalist for The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management. This award provides an opportunity to recognize the dedication and commitment of our staff, management team and board of directors in providing high-quality services in this community, while also building the capacity and strength of the organization. Over the past several years, Calvary has undergone significant growth, and has invested time and energy into growing sustainably and implementing management best practices. We are thrilled to see these accomplishments celebrated through this award.

2. How has the application process benefited your organization?

This process has been immensely valuable for Calvary Women’s Services as a means of evaluating and clarifying management best practices. As Calvary completed the application, we developed a clearer sense of our strengths and effective practices. This application process also offered an opportunity to reflect on areas for future growth. Calvary is currently two years into a three-year strategic plan, so this served as the ideal time to assess our management practices and progress toward our goals.

3. Describe one management best practice of which you are particularly proud.

Calvary Women’s Services is particularly proud of our commitment to staff development, which we view as an invaluable way to continually build the strength and capacity of the organization. We facilitate a range of development opportunities, including frequent trainings for staff in areas that are relevant to their work. We also dedicate resources for staff who are interested in outside trainings or other professional development opportunities. This commitment to staff development empowers each member of the team to challenge themselves and explore what other interests and talents they can contribute to Calvary and their individual work.

4. What advice would you offer for other nonprofit leaders/organizations striving for excellence in nonprofit management?

The most important piece of advice we would offer to any nonprofit organization is to keep the mission and core values at the center of all work. This advice may seem obvious, but it can be easy to become mired in the day–to-day realities of keeping programs running successfully. Keeping your organization’s mission and larger goals at the forefront of your work allows everyone to feel a stronger connection to what they do. When every decision comes from a mission-focused perspective, the organization works from a place of strength and vision.


Join us on May 21 for the 2015 Best Practices Celebration to learn more about Calvary Women's Services' management techniques.

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