n 2010 we responded to more than 62,000 contacts. That’s double the number three yearsago. As a result, growth management continues to be a major issue.To ensure we were not overwhelmed by basic needs demand, we made a number of changes.We reorganized our staff team so that we have leads on each of our three core areas of work:assisting with basic needs, building social inclusion and addressing social issues. We changedstaff hours to ensure all staff have time for learning, increased training to build the depth ofwomen’s issues knowledge among volunteers, and worked to foster an environment for change.With funding from the Calgary Foundation we are building skills around public policy. Projectfunding from United Way will enable us to continue our work to create change over the nextthree years.The Board of Directors focused on growth and ensuring sustainability. Goals were set at theannual board planning retreat and leads on resources, people and community will direct workin 2011.With City of Calgary, FCSS funding we were able to hire a consultant to evaluate our way ofwork and social inclusion. The evaluation found that “there is a reciprocal and interconnectedrelationship between the community capacity building peer model at the Women’s Centre andsocial inclusion . . . At times it is difcult to discern which begets which. However, what isfundamental to them both is recognizing that they are integral to one another and togethercreate deep and far reaching positive impacts for all women involved with the Women’sCentre.”Best practices which were identied included:•Empathy•Reciprocity•Active diversity work and non-judgmental practice•Leadership and non-hierarchical culture•Staff and volunteer competency: critical thinking and reective practice•Open-space physical layout of organization•Open and accessible operational structure•Immediate response and contextual support•Women’s only spaceFunding from United Way of Calgary will enable us to continue our evaluation in 2011 withan assessment of our work in the areas of basic needs and social issues.2010 was a very successful year thanks to the hard work of staff and 434 volunteers. It wasmade possible by core funders the City of Calgary, FCSS and United Way of Calgary, and morethan 700 individual donors, foundations, community groups and businesses who provided keysupport for our critical work.
Fostering change and inclusion
2010 was a very successful year thanks tothe hard work of staff and 434 volunteers.