PLATINUM2023

CaringMatters, Inc.

Facing Illness & Grief. Finding Compassion & Support

Gaithersburg, MD   |  www.caringmatters.org

Mission

Our Mission: CaringMatters provides social supports and community education so that no one dies or grieves alone.Our Vision: CaringMatters envisions a community that accepts death as a part of life; where the processes of dying and grieving are embraced without stigma; where everyone has access to support services without charge; and where no one dies or grieves without support.

Ruling year info

1988

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Allison K Stearns

Main address

518 South Frederick Avenue

Gaithersburg, MD 20877 USA

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Formerly known as

Hospice Caring, Inc.

EIN

52-1591455

NTEE code info

Hospice (P74)

Family Services (P40)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Adult Bereavment: Peer Support Groups

When a loved one dies, family and friends must deal with a wide variety of emotions, including pain, fear and grief. Although these feelings are natural responses to death, they can be devastating and overwhelming.

CaringMatters offers bereavement peer support groups for anyone grieving the death of a loved one. These groups allow people to meet other individuals who are going through a similar experience, share their stories, learn from one another and receive much-needed support. Groups are held online using Zoom with more groups also being held in person.

Examples of groups include Spousal Loss, Adult Child Loss, Suicide Loss, and Parent Loss. Additional grief support groups are formed based on community need. Groups are provided at no charge. Participants must live or work in Montgomery County.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Widows and widowers

CaringMatters, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools, sponsors the Good Grief Club for students who are grieving the death of a special person. The Club offers students a safe and comfortable environment in which to explore their emotions and issues related to death. A trained CM volunteer and the School Counselor co-facilitate the Club. Clubs are held in elementary, middle and high schools during the school day, The seven-week program gathers students for up to an hour weekly to explore their feelings, to learn that their grief is normal, and to learn coping skills.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

For those persons of any age who are seriously ill with declinig health and their families, Volunteer Helping Hands provides compassionate care and practical supports that are in tune with the family’s desires and circumstances. Trained volunteers visit each person up to four hours weekly. Volunteers provide companionship; respite time for caregivers; help with errands and household tasks; and transportation to medical and social services. People who are ill may live alone, with family or in assisted living or nursing homes.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Chronically ill people
Terminally ill people

Camp Erin Montgomery County is an annual weekend bereavement camp for children ages 6 to 17 who have experienced the death of a special person. With the guidance of adult "buddies," children explore their feelings through age-appropriate crafts, activities, discussions and one-on-one time. Campers also participate in typical camp activities in addition to the grief work. Throughout the weekend, emphasis is placed on helping the children to understand what grief is, discussing normal responses to death, and learning ways to express and cope with their grief. Camp Erin is without charge. Camp Erin is part of a national network of bereavement camps through Eluna. Children may be referred by parents, guardians, advocates or school counselors. The Camp is held in the spring at an accredited camp site donated by Bar-T.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Family members and their children attend a virtual (on Zoom) 1.5 hour evening session where they participate in creative arts activities that are especially designed and led by art educators and CaringMatters volunteers to promote family communication and remembrance about the person who died. Five sessions throughout the year are scheduled just prior to holidays which often trigger discomfort. Program materials are delivered to families in advance.

Population(s) Served
Families
Widows and widowers
Caregivers
Children and youth

This weekend nonresidential retreat is for family caregivers whose terminally ill family member (often a spouse or parent) has died within the past two years. Through a mix of activities, these former caregivers begin to refocus their lives now that their caregiving role has ended; and enjoy renewal activities, communal meals and camaraderie.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Caregivers
Widows and widowers

An online education series of seven sessions is for parents or other responsible adults who are now the single parent caregiver for the grieving children or can have newly assumed the caregiving of grieiving children. Participants learn how children grieve depending upon their age, effective communication styles and other strategies to support the children. They also discuss the importance of and ways to care for themselves.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Grandparents
Single parents
Stepparents
Widows and widowers

Through virtual or in person support groups, caregivers of relatives with serious illness met together to discuss their challenges and successes in caregiving, learn new ways to care and reduce their stress.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Caregivers

We regularly sponsor webinars and other community education events for community members and education, health and human service professionals on end-of-life, death, loss and grief. At their request, we give presentations on these topics to civic organizations, faith-based groups, businesses and other groups. Participants need not reside or work in Montgomery County.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In partnership with Adventist Healthcare's Cancer Centers, we work with medical and social services professionals and cancer patients to identify and secure formal and informal community resources that will support treatment and reduce stress.

Population(s) Served
Adults
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Accreditations


Since 2007

Awards

Brooks Saltsman Award 2019

Healthcare Initiative Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children who received grief support

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Counts children and youth and their parents who are served in Children's Bereavement programs, including Good Grief Clubs, Camp Erin, Family Nights, and Parenting While Grieving.

Number of terminally ill people who receive supportive visits

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Volunteer Helping Hands

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number adults who receive visits from trained volunteers in Volunteer Helping Hands; negatively impacted due to Covid-19 health/safety restrictions.

Number of adults who receive grief support

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of adults who participate in adult bereavement programs including Peer Support Groups and the Bereaved Caregiver Retreat.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Community Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

All people who receive information on dying, death and grief through various community education strategies.

% of grieving adults and children who have new tools to cope.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Percentage of program participants in both adult and children's bereavement programs who respond with "agree/strongly agree" to a question on end-of-service survey.

% of people receiving volunteer visits who were less socially isolated

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Volunteer Helping Hands

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Responses to post-service survey completed by the client and/or family member

% of participants in education events that report increased knowledge

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Participant responses on end-of-event survey

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.

Our Three-Year Strategic Plan for FY2023-2025 has three program goals. Goal One is to increase compassionate caregiving services to assist more people with serious illnesses. Volunteer Helping Hands, Caregiver Support Services and The Whole You are the current strategies for this goal. Goal Two is to grow peer support groups, camps, retreats and family programs to serve more grieving individuals and families. Adult Bereavement Peer Support Groups and the Bereaved Caregiver Retreat support this goal. Children’s Bereavement programs include Good Grief Clubs, Camp Erin, Family Nights, and Parenting While Grieving are the strategies. Goal Three is to expand community awareness about serious illness, death and grief. Educational events, social media, public awareness campaigns and professional workshops support this goal. The Strategic Plan also includes five organizational goals that support our infrastructure and enable program goal progress.

Our Three-Year Strategic Plan for FY2023-2025 has three program goals. Goal One is to increase compassionate caregiving services to assist more people with serious illnesses. Volunteer Helping Hands, Caregiver Support Services and The Whole You are the current strategies for this goal. Goal Two is to grow peer support groups, camps, retreats and family programs to serve more grieving individuals and families. Adult Bereavement Peer Support Groups and the Bereaved Caregiver Retreat support this goal. Children’s Bereavement programs include Good Grief Clubs, Camp Erin, Family Nights, and Parenting While Grieving are the strategies. Goal Three is to expand community awareness about serious illness, death and grief. Educational events, social media, public awareness campaigns and professional workshops support this goal. The Strategic Plan also includes five organizational goals that support our infrastructure and enable program goal progress. Our value goal is to

A Board of Directors governs the organization using its Three Year Strategic Plan as the blueprint. Diverse members come with a variety of skills. All are committed to our mission and support us financially. The Board hires and supervises the Chief Executive Officer. Annual audits confirm stewardship of funds. We rely on a cadre of trained volunteers to deliver direct services and administrative and fund-raising support. Over 150 volunteers are involved each year. We have established processes to recruit, screen, train, support and monitor program volunteers. Experienced, degreed program directors are in charge of each program area and its volunteers. We have partnerships with a wide variety of organizations including, public schools, medical hospices, health care entities, community-based service providers, faith communities, civic organizations; city, county and state government; for-profit businesses. We hold a Certificate of Excellence from Maryland Nonprofits and have received multiple awards for our work.

CaringMatters continues to work towards both continuing and expanding programs to meet the needs of our culturally diverse county. We successfully pivoted to online services during the pandemic. This year we are experiencing an increase across all services to pre-pandemic numbers. Through client surveys, we know that we are making a difference for all we serve. We have increased our partnerships, notably with the county public school system for direct services for grieving students and training events for student services professionals and to provide nonmedical support to cancer patients with a healthcare system’s two local cancer centers. We continue to have a cadre of trained caring volunteers who deliver most of our programs, which make them cost-effective while building a community that supports seriously ill and grieving individuals. Our Board, staff, volunteers and clients have become more racial/ethnically diverse over the last three years.

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 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

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

CaringMatters, 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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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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.

CaringMatters, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/27/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Audrey Rothstein

Rothstein Communications

Term: 2020 - 2023

Nancy Richardson

President, Bar-T

Stephen R. Halpin

retired

Audrey Rothstein

Rothstein Communications

Debra Berner

Retired, Montgomery County Public Schools

Dominique Duong

New York Life

William Hard

Retired, LCOR, Inc.

Sara Harris

Retired

Kenneth Nelson

Montgomery College

Anu Sharman

National Cancer Institute

Tori Tomlinson

US Wellness, Inc.

Samuel R. Lish

Advanced Nursing & Home Support

Vivian Bass

Retired

Erin Blanding

CohnReznick

Craig Rice

Montgomery County Council, past

Sue DeGraba

Retired, Chief Financial Officer, MCPS

Jody Engel

Community Advocate

Samuel R. Lish

Advanced Nursing and Home Support

Michelle Potter

Asbury Methodist Village

Betty Romero

Strategic Consultant

Ernest "Chico" Rosemond

Retired, Georgetown U

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 3/25/2023

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
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/27/2023

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 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 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.