What is the Financial Empowerment Program?
WHF members volunteer to provide financial education to clients of community organizations around the Washington, DC area. This training addresses issues such as family budgeting, savings, paying bills on time, credit repair, and basic banking and checking account management. We also provide basic information on micro-lending in relation to starting a small business. 

What types of volunteer opportunities are available?
Volunteer opportunities are available at local community organizations that serve low-income individuals.  Currently, we offer financial empowerment instruction to residents of Calvary Women Services’ shelter.  The Foundation also teams up with Operation Hope's Banking on Our Future program to provide fundamental money skills to youth in area schools. This is a special opportunity is held twice a year. In the past, we have provided financial empowerment instruction at Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Make Piece, Tenant Empowerment Network, and Sinai House.

How often are the counseling sessions held?
It depends on the needs of the organization.  Sessions are usually held once or twice per month, sometimes in the evenings. Some sessions are held on Saturdays. The program at Calvary Women’s Services is held 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. every Tuesday over the course of two months. The program is repeated quarterly. Two WHF volunteers teach each class at Calvary.

How long are counseling sessions?
Sessions are usually one to one-and-a-half hours.

Who are the participants?
The participants are the clients of the sponsoring organizations. The participants typically are low-income or disadvantaged women, most of whom were homeless.

How many participants/clients are in a session?
There are usually 5-10 participants. Occasionally there will be as many as 15 participants.

What is the volunteer’s time commitment?
A volunteer can teach one session or multiple sessions.  Each session is taught by at least two volunteers.

What curriculum is used?
The FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum is presently used and can be supplemented by other information. Information about the FDIC’s program is available at:

Do I need training?
No formal training is necessary however training is available if desired. For the classes at Calvary, the WHF Foundation utilizes the FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum that is adapted for the needs of women who are preparing to move into independent living. The WHF Foundation hosts training sessions with FDIC instructors who explain how to teach the Money Smart curriculum.The FDIC also offers a “train the trainer” video which is available at:  Additionally, the FDIC offers a 3-hour training webinar quarterly. To sign up, email

What is the format?
The format is casual and informal. The materials are printed booklets and a PowerPoint presentation from the FDIC Money Smart financial education curriculum.

Are materials provided to the trainer?
Yes, the materials can downloaded or a CD-ROM will be mailed to you.

Are materials for the participants provided?
Participant materials can be downloaded and is included on the CD-ROM. Volunteers are responsible for bringing copies for the participants.

How can I volunteer?
You can volunteer by contacting the WHF office at or 703-683-4742.  We can share with you current program volunteer opportunities and / or add your name to a contact list as future program volunteer opportunities arise.