Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What business execs don't know, but should know about non profits

Dennis Whittle, founder of Global Giving has a thought-provoking essay on his Pulling for the Underdog blog. He links to an article written by the from the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

As you read this, I encourage you to think of the thousands of places where comprehensive, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs need to reach kids living in high poverty and near poorly performing schools. Each of these programs needs an innovative, dedicated leader who can attract kids, volunteers, donors and keep programs growing from "good to great" over a period of years.

If we can enlist business leaders to innovate ways to distribute needed resources to all tutor/mentor programs on a more consistent basis, we can do much to build a pipeline connecting inner city kids to careers. One strategy leaders might employ is to provide links on their web sites to organizations that mentor kids to careers, then encourage employees and customers to volunteer and donate money through payroll deduction programs to support these programs.

The goal is that an executive point to all of the organizations in a city, or multiple cities, that offer tutoring/mentoring and not just to the one that he/she may serve as a board member. In the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator I illustrate one sort of database that executives could refer volunteers to in order to distribute support to multiple locations.

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