Human Services

A Wider Circle, Inc.

  • Bethesda, MD
  • www.awidercircle.org

Mission Statement

At A Wider Circle, we are tired of seeing so many children born into poverty, only to remain there for life. In a region and a country with so much, too many people live with too little. We know we can change this, and it is our mission to help one individual and one family after another to rise out of poverty. We work seven days a week, 365 days a year because nobody we serve is in poverty Monday-Friday, from 9:00-5:00. Our holistic approach focuses on the provision of basic need items, workforce development, wraparound support, and neighborhood revitalization.

Main Programs

  1. Basic Needs
  2. Workforce Development
  3. Wraparound Support
  4. Neighborhood Partnerships
Service Areas

Self-reported

Maryland

Greater Washington D.C. Region

ruling year

2002

Principal Officer since 2001

Self-reported

Dr. Mark Bergel

Keywords

Self-reported

basic needs, health, education, wopoverty, low-income, homelessness, abuse, schools, shelters, domestic violence, education, s, community outreach, workforce development, l

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EIN

52-2345144

Physical Address

9159-C Brookville Road

Silver Spring, MD 20910

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Family Services (P40)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Since its founding, A Wider Circle has served more than 185,000 children and adults. In 2016, alone, A Wider Circle furnished more than 4,400 homes, providing beds, dressers, and other basic need items to more than 16,000 children and adults. A Wider Circle also provided workforce development support to more than 2,000 adults in 2016, long-term support to 15 families through our Wraparound Support Program, and served 600 families in our Neighborhood Partnerships location.

Each year, more than 20,000 volunteers come, individually or in groups, to serve. Because of this grassroots approach, A Wider Circle's overhead is less than 2%.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Basic Needs

A Wider Circle’s Basic Needs Program provides items ranging from beds and dressers to home goods and personal care items, and the program serves individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness, fleeing domestic abuse, or otherwise living without the essentials of life. It is the only program providing this service free of charge across the entire Washington, DC region and has become a primary source of support for thousands of individuals and families, in addition to more than 500 other social service agencies.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 2

Workforce Development

A stable home is the first step to independence, but we know that no one gets out of poverty without a job. A Wider Circle’s Workforce Development Program provides holistic, intensive, and highly personalized support to adults seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce. We offer job skills training, individualized job coaching, and high-quality, professional attire and accessories – all free of charge.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 3

Wraparound Support

Obtaining employment provides a strong start on the path out of poverty, but no one can do it alone. That is why, in February of 2016, A Wider Circle launched its Wraparound Support Program, through which one family in poverty is matched with four families that provide long-term support. These families form a team and work together to set and pursue goals related to employment, education, financial management, health & wellness, and housing stability. The relationships created by this program have been invaluable.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 4

Neighborhood Partnerships

Finally, we know that strong communities nurture strong individuals and families. A Wider Circle’s Neighborhood Partnerships Program works from within our region’s most deeply impoverished neighborhoods, bringing together all sectors of the greater community, connecting residents with vital support services, and walking alongside the residents as they revitalize their communities from within. Our inaugural program is located in Highland Dwellings and Additions, a deeply impoverished community of approximately 800 residents in Southeast Washington, DC. We have taken up residence in this community connecting residents directly with resources and support necessary not only to take substantive steps out of poverty but to advocate for themselves and for their communities.

Category

Community Development

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

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

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The mission of A Wider Circle is simple: to end poverty for one individual and one family after another. A Wider Circle's services focus on the following areas: 1.) Provision of basic need items; 2.) Comprehensive workforce development support; 3.) Long-term, wraparound support; and 4.) Neighborhood Revitalization.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    A Wider Circle provides basic need items such as beds, dressers, tables, chairs, couches, televisions, sheets, towels, dishes, pots, pans, and other large and small home goods – all of which are collected from donors in the community and then re-distributed free of charge. The organization also provides comprehensive job preparedness support, including job skills classes, job coaches, and professional attire and accessories. In addition, A Wider Circle seeks to match those in need with groups of volunteers who provide individualized, long-term support on their journeys out of poverty. Finally, in 2016 A Wider Circle launched its Neighborhood Partnerships Program, which enables partners from all sectors of society to work together within low-income neighborhoods to ensure residents are safe, supported, and provided opportunities for advancement.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    A Wider Circle has twice been named "one of the bestʺ nonprofit organizations in the region by the Catalogue for Philanthropy and has been called "the quintessential grassroots organization" by the Washington Examiner. While many individual and organizational accolades have come to A Wider Circle, most recently, the organization received Leadership Greater Washington's 2017 Innovative Community Partner of the Year Award. Our Executive Director, Dr. Bergel has been named a CNN Hero, Washingtonian of the Year, and one of People Magazine's All-Stars Among Us for his efforts to end poverty. The organization has a staff of approximately 60 and recently purchased its 35,000 square-foot Community Service Center.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Individuals leaving poverty – this is the ambitious end goal of each of A Wider Circle's programs. We constantly evaluate our efforts to assess effectiveness toward this end, and strive to create a model of service that affects dramatic change in our community and our nation.

    A Wider Circle gathers baseline data on participants in each of our programs, tracking income levels, demographic data, employment status and other key indicators. We then follow up with participants at key intervals during and after their time in our programs to assess the effectiveness of each intervention.

    Six- month evaluations of our Neighbor-to-Neighbor Programs show that nearly 100% of those whom we serve are still using the furniture and home goods they received. They indicate that the comfort of a furnished home provides a sense of stability and acts as incentive for paying rent and remaining in their homes.

    In Job Skills programming, 83% of participants are employed within 12 months of completing classes. Pre- and post-evaluations of our workforce development programming also reveal that knowledge and behavior change ranges from 25%-40% for those who participated in at least two-thirds of the programming. Participants will be tracked at six-, twelve-, and eighteen-month intervals to assess success and identify any existing needs.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    A Wider Circle has developed a grassroots, efficient model for the provision of its daily services. As the organization expands, its goals include the following:

    Replication of the Neighborhood Partnerships Program in high-poverty neighborhoods in urban, rural, and suburban settings: By providing basic need items, workforce readiness training, wellness programming, wraparound support, and more directly in neighborhoods where the need is greatest, barriers to participation are removed and residents are able to create dramatic change in their quality of life.

    People are not getting out of poverty as quickly as others are being born into it. The number of children and adults who live in unacceptable conditions demands that this crisis be addressed with urgency. That is why A Wider Circle works seven days a week, 365 days a year to ensure that every individual and family has the resources they need to build lives of dignity and stability.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Maryland

Greater Washington D.C. Region

Social Media

Blog

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

A Wider Circle Inc
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

A Wider Circle, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Dr. Mark Bergel

BIO

Dr. Bergel founded A Wider Circle in 2001 and has emerged as a leader in the movement to end poverty. He is a nationally acclaimed speaker in the fields of poverty, health, and social connection and has been featured on national television and radio programs. Dr. Bergel earned a B.A. from Northwestern University and went on to receive both Masters and Doctoral degrees from American University.

Dr. Bergel's efforts to end poverty have led to his selection as Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine and as a 2014 CNN Hero. He has also been named one of PEOPLE Magazine and Major League Baseball's “All‐Stars Among Us," recognizing individuals who have made incredible contributions in their communities. He has also received the Dr. Augustus White III Award for Civic Engagement and Service, the Andrea Jolly President's Award, the Essence of Leadership Award at the Greater DC Cares Business and Nonprofit Philanthropy Summit, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region's Linowes Leadership Award, and Montgomery County's 2017 Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"At A Wider Circle, we believe that we already have the resources needed to end poverty.  Our task is simply to place greater priority on those in the greatest need.  We work every day to help families trying to get a fresh start, find relief, and just obtain the items they need to then focus on creating greater change in their lives. Our programs are focused on helping individuals and families have the tools and information necessary to gain stability and independence."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Marty Durbin

American Petroleum Institute

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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?