GOLD2022

CIRCLES OF MERCY INC

Hope and Hospitality

aka Circles of Mercy   |   Rensselaer, NY   |  http://www.circlesofmercy.org

Mission

Drawing upon the Gospel and the spirit of Catherine McAuley, Circles of Mercy will improve the quality of life in the community by working to end the cycle of poverty, especially among women and women with children. Animated by the Gospel and Catherine McAuley's passion for the poor and underprivileged, we honor the dignity of each person.  We offer hospitality and provide services, compassion, hospitality, stewardship, leadership and collaboration, with a special concern for the poor and disadvantaged without regard to a person's religious affiliation, ethnicity or gender preference; which is performed in an effort to instill hope and empower individuals to reach their full potential. Circles' Motto: “Hope and Hospitality"

Notes from the nonprofit

Circles of Mercy – Brief Mission Statement and Overview: Where we honor the dignity of each person, We offer hospitality and provide services, to instill hope and empower individuals to reach their full potential. Circles of Mercy is an out-reach center for low-income individuals and families in need sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, with a particular focus on women and women with children. We have a twenty-five year tradition of providing the following programs and services to the Rensselaer Community: ●mentoring ●financial training ●computer training ●work force resume ●job seeking skills ●social service issues ●advocacy and referrals ●free tax preparation ●holiday programs We also operate Catherine's Closet a thrift shop for clothing and household goods… 11 Washington Street ● Rensselaer, NY 12144 Tel: (518) 462-0899 ● Fax: (518) 462-2892 Email: [email protected] Web: www.circlesofmercy.org Executive Director: Richard S. Zazycki

Ruling year info

1946

President/CEO/Executive Director

Mr. Richard S. Zazycki

Main address

11 Washington St

Rensselaer, NY 12144 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

01-0589987

NTEE code info

Thrift Shops (P29)

Financial Counseling, Money Management (P51)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

These areas have been impacted by COVID-19: Volunteer Recruitment: We continue with the current staffing of only 1.5 FTE covering the ministry. Our organization heavily depends on volunteers to share their time, talents and treasure. Our practice of recruitment is by word of mouth, invitations, community presentations, media releases and notices in the local parish bulletins which worked for us in 2020 and we plan to continue this same practice. Partnership: As outlined in our Strategic Plan, in 2019 we continued with our practice of maintaining strong existing partnerships. We currently work with the local United Way, CoNSERNS-U/Catholic Charities, CEO, Rensselaer City School District, the Rensselaer Boys & Girls Club and many local church parishes. Finances: As detailed and noted in the Finance section as well as the audit and budget reports, we experienced financial surpluses for both 2018 & 2019, and have the ability to confidently handle any potential revenue shortfalls.

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?

Circles of Mercy's Programs and Services

Circles of Mercy is a center for those in need sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Serving the City of Rensselaer for the past 25 years in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy and their First Sister - Catherine McAuley. We offers a variety of services to anyone in need, especially women and women with children.
Circles provides the following: Free Income Tax Prep, Computer & Financial Literacy Training, Social Service Resource Referral / Coordination, Resume Preparation, Job Searching, Catherine’s Closet: which includes Cate’s Kids & Baby Blessings Programs, also Layettes & Baby Supplies. We offer Back to School Supplies, Christmas Adopt-a-Family, Children’s Easter Baskets, Mentoring, Bus Passes for job interviews, social service & medical appointments. Catherine’s Closet, a thrift shop staffed by volunteers, is dedicated to helping customers find attractive, gently used clothing. Hours: Mon-Tue-Thur; 10a to 2p. Donations accepted by appointment on Mon. Wed. & Fri. from 10a to 2p.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Unemployed people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Charting impact

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

Given the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy previously stated and that woman and woman with children continuing to be the focus of Circles of Mercy’s efforts in the past and current year we continue to accomplish the following:
•Thrift Store (Catherine’s Closet) - Provide clothing and supplies grants to low-income children, families and individuals. Also the thrift store also provides alternative shopping for local workers, visitors and residents.
•Income Tax Prep (VITA Program) - Circles Provides Both Services and Leadership, serving as the lead faith-based non-profit agency for the VITA free tax prep program at the local, county and also the regional levels.
•Computer, Workforce and Financial Literacy Training - provide various training classes in computer instruction. Assist
clients reentering the workforce through our “Dress for Success” program. Clients are referred to partnering agencies for other types of training, especially financial literacy.
We have mdified our work and out-r-each behaviors due to the COVID-19 virus, which continues to impact our organization.

As is outlined in our strategic plan we work on the following goals and initiatives:
Mission Integration of the Mercy Charism and Critical Concerns;
Maintain Revenues From Catherine's Closet;
Continue to provide clothing and baby supply grants to low-income clients;
Identify, Pursue, Grow Key Linkages with Local Organizations, Local Businesses and Other Non-Profits and Faith Based Agencies;
Increase Our Referrals to Local Area Employment Programs to Help Increase Client’s Self-Sufficiency;
Establish Volunteer Capacity to Meet Program Goals and Community Needs;
Expand Work Force Skills Development with a Focus on client’s self enhancement and self esteem;
Increase General Donations, Fundraising and Grant Revenues;
Maintain an Effective Public Relations and Marketing Campaign;
Continued participation in the GuideStar USA program, a trusted information source;
Maintain partnerships with Catholic Charities, CEO, MHEP, The Doane Stuart School, local school district, local Boys & Girls Club.
Implementation of our COVID-19 virus operational policy to help protect staff, volunteers, clients and visitors.

Mission - Continues as our guiding force and infuses all aspects of our ministry, the board, staff, volunteers and supporters in service to our clients. We strive to make “Mercy” available each day through many acts of spiritual and corporal works of mercy performed. Approximately 1,600 clients aided involving over 7,990 service and program transactions being completed.

Finances - In the year ending December 2019 our independent financial review confirms a surplus of: $3,416. For 2019 the Administrative Rate calculated based on our ProForma-990 is 13%, meaning for every dollar donated, $0.87 goes to programs and services.

Leadership - Circles of Mercy functions as one of the public faces locally for the Sisters of Mercy, especially when it comes to speaking and educating the community about the Mercy history, mission, vision, traditions and core values involving services to the poor, sick and uneducated. During the year many media and public presentations given to the public.

Please refer to the attached summary of our Strategic Plan; the status of which we feel remains currently stable and sustainable.

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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve

Financials

CIRCLES OF MERCY INC
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CIRCLES OF MERCY INC

Board of directors
as of 09/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Sister Patricia A. Lynch, RSM

Sisters of Mercy

Term: 2024 - 2022


Board co-chair

Dr. Stephanie M. Hutchins, PhD

No Affiliation

Term: 2021 - 2023

Jack M. Sweeney, Treas.

No Affiliation

Richard S. Zazyck, ExDir

Circles of Mercy

Janice A. Labas-Lucht

No Affiliation

Stephanie M. Hutchins, PhD

No Affiliation

Nadine Farnum, RSM

Sisters of Mercy

Rev. John J. Bradley

No Affiliation

Patricia Mannion, RSM

Sisters of Mercy

Laetitia Francis Rhatigan

No Affiliation

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 9/21/2022

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/21/2022

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

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
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.