GOLD2023

WOMENS INFORMATION SERVICE WISE

every hour, every day 866-348-WISE

aka WISE   |   Lebanon, NH   |  www.wiseuv.org

Mission

Mission: WISE leads the Upper Valley to end gender-based violence through survivor-centered advocacy, prevention, education and mobilization for social change. Vision: A world of freedom, justice, equality and dignity where all thrive.

Ruling year info

1979

Executive Director

Margaret O'Neil

Main address

38 Bank Street

Lebanon, NH 03766 USA

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EIN

02-0346512

NTEE code info

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Rape Victim Services (F42)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

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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?

WISE

Since 1971, WISE has been dedicated to providing crisis advocacy and support for people and communities impacted by domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking within 23 communities of the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. WISE offers a confidential and free 24-hour crisis line, support groups and workshops, emergency and transitional shelter, safety planning and in-person advocacy at hospitals, police stations, courthouses and other social service agencies. WISE provides essential immigration legal services and works with youth, professionals, and the community to develop culturally relevant community education and comprehensive prevention strategies. WISE is committed to engaging everyone in learning to recognize and eliminate the root causes of violence.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

The Crisis Services and Advocacy Program provides advocacy and support to victims and survivors of gender-based violence within 23 communities of the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. WISE supports people through the 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing assistance, legal aid, safety planning, support groups, and in-person advocacy at the WISE Program Center, police stations, courts, hospitals, and at our co-locations in White River Junction, Vermont and on Dartmouth College campus. WISE also trains medical, legal and law enforcement professionals on how to effectively respond to the complex needs of survivors. All of WISE’s services are free and confidential, and underlying all support is WISE’s commitment to survivor-centered advocacy; acknowledging that survivors can make the best decisions for themselves when given information, resources and support.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

WISE's Housing Program is available to survivors and their children who are fleeing violence and in need of safe, confidential living arrangements. The Program provides survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and trafficking access to safe and confidential housing fully supported by WISE Advocates. The WISE Safe Home and Jane’s Place, bolstered by a strong network of hotels, motels, and private apartments, provide safe spaces to build financial security and work on other barriers that survivors encounter, including legal issues, education, and a limited employment history. WISE assists with securing employment, solutions to rural transportation challenges, and accessing safe and affordable child care. WISE reduces barriers to accessing housing services through partnership with other service and community providers and advocacy within publicly and privately-funded housing systems. WISE provides support that increases safety and stability so that survivors stay housed long-term.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

WISE works with students, schools, and communities, to build skills around cultivating healthy, safe, and fulfilling relationships. WISE programming is consistent with federal and state health education guidelines and informed by research and best practices to end gender-based violence. Elementary school lessons focus on social and emotional skill building, identifying trusted adults, and asking for help. Middle and high school lessons address five key objectives: to make visible gender stereotypes and their perpetuation of dating and sexual violence; exercise critical thinking skills around deconstructing harmful myths regarding dating and sexual violence; build empathy for survivors of dating and/or sexual violence; increase bystander awareness and response for culture change; and activate youth leadership to end gender-based violence. WISE offers complementary educator and parent workshops, professional development, and consultation for education professionals.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

WISE provides essential immigration legal services and culturally relevant community education in the Upper Valley. The Program assists humanitarian immigrants, many of whom are survivors of gender-based violence, in gaining legal immigration status, and works toward immigration integration through community education and networking. Community education and networking helps local organizations and interest groups better understand the particular needs of humanitarian immigrants, and raises awareness about the extreme vulnerability of this population. Because of its highly specialized immigration legal expertise coupled with the innovative trauma-informed approach to advocacy work as well as educational programming, WISE is uniquely positioned to serve the most vulnerable within the communities.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Migrant workers

The WISE Community Education Program seeks to educate community members while creating a positive space for collaboration and partnership. WISE partners with community agencies, businesses, and other professional spaces and focuses on educating the community on the realities of gender-based violence, interrupting the culture that enables gender-based violence, and learning how to safely respond and refer victims to needed services. WISE develops customized and workshops and training within a range of issues upon request. The strategies of the Prevention and Education Program reflect the Center for Disease Control’s Social-Ecologic Model connecting the individual, relational, community and societal factors that influence real and lasting change.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults
Children and youth

The WISE Multidisciplinary Interview and Training Center (MITC) is a unique collaboration that effectively responds to aggravated domestic assault through the implementation of Forensic Experiential Trauma Interviews (FETI) for victims with support from advocates and coordinated investigation from law enforcement, provides outreach and training to law enforcement in trauma-informed investigative processes, and cultivates a consistent source of expert witnesses from the professional community to support cases in criminal proceedings. Through this program, victims are able to more accurately share their experience of the traumatic victimization, and the criminal legal system is able to secure much more useful information for investigative and prosecution work.

MITC is collaboration between WISE, the Windsor County State’s Attorney’s office, the Windsor County Unit for Special Investigations and Hartford and Woodstock Police Departments.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    WISE provides crisis advocacy and support for anyone affected by gender-based violence within 23 communities of the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. WISE’s service area includes the towns and villages of Canaan, Enfield, Grafton, Hanover, Haverhill, Lebanon, Lyme, Orange, Orford, and Piermont in New Hampshire and Barnard, Bridgewater, Fairlee, Hartford, Hartland, Norwich, Pomfret, Reading, Thetford, Weathersfield, West Windsor, Windsor, Woodstock in Vermont. WISE works with all people who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and trafficking regardless of age, race, ability, orientation, gender, or identity.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • 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 inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In 2018, WISE initiated a comprehensive planning process to shape and articulate the strategic direction for the organization. The WISE Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers engaged in multiple discussions and over fifty community stake-holders provided valuable insights through dynamic focus groups. In 2019, WISE unveiled the strategic direction for the next five years and presented the leading areas of focus and the accompanying operational priorities. WISE continues to grow and evolve, creating new programs and expanding as we identify and address critical needs for survivors. Current priorities are strengthening programming to provide accessible and affordable legal services and housing as well as support for the unique needs of young people experiencing violence.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our advocacy and prevention are rooted in the empowerment model which promotes resilience in the face of adversity, and makes survivors the primary players in discussions and decisions about their future. Empowerment creates the conditions for survivors to make decisions aligned with their personal goals and outcomes, to build skills for improving their personal or group power, increase their positive sense of self and overcoming stigma, and increase their ability to identify things that they are comfortable with.

  • 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,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

WOMENS INFORMATION SERVICE WISE
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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WOMENS INFORMATION SERVICE WISE

Board of directors
as of 01/25/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Martha Goodrich

Jenny Williams

Patricia Spellman

Mike Shipulski

Pat Glowa

Martha Goodrich

Gail Gentes

Kate Harrison

Peggy O’Neil

Mindi Laine

Margaret Rightmire

Karen Colberg

Jason Lichtenstein

Jenny Levy

Angela Zhang

Sherice McCarthy-Hill