Thursday, February 18, 2010

Non Profit Groups Struggle to Pay Bills

Today's Chicago Tribune had an article titled, Nonprofit groups hang by a thread waiting for state funds. In this case the non profit is Youth Crossroads, a Berwyn, Il. group that is included in the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Programs Links Library and has attended Tutor/Mentor Conferences in the past.

Below is a map showing where Youth Crossroads is located in the Chicago area. On the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator the green stars represent volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs. Each one of these groups is struggling to find donors and operating dollars. We create these maps, and this blog article, to show how others can point their friends, and philanthropy dollars, at all of the tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region, on a consistent, year-round basis, so they call all stay in the business of helping young people.

Last night I attended a "Speed Dating" Volunteer Recruitment event hosted by It was intended to introduce busy professional women to volunteer opportunities in non profits. Out of about 70 registered organizations, I was one of 3 or 4 of the 170-plus tutor/mentor programs in Chicago who attended.

As I talked to volunteers, my goal was to enlist people who would use T/MC maps, and the ideas on the Tutor/Mentor Institute site, and lead on-going efforts that would help women business professionals take on leader and volunteer roles at ALL of the tutor/mentor programs, not just one or two who were able to successfully recruit a few of the volunteers attending last night's event.

I find this a difficult concept to communicate. In every business, leadership and marketing teams work every day to expand the number of customers they have, and the number of stores they have in all parts of the city. I even show this distribution of businesses in the ASSET MAPS on the Program Locator web site.

Yet, I find it difficult to find volunteers who can transfer these skills into the non profit sector, and work to build an entire system of well-organized, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs reaching kids in all poverty neighborhoods of the city.

Most of the articles I've written for the past 5 years focus on this strategy. I know people in different parts of the world are reading some of these. I was contacted by someone from the United Way in Detroit this week who said he's been following my blogs for many years.

One way I've been trying to help more people understand these ideas is to convert them into animated presentations. This link goes to a new presentation that's going live this week. It illustrates the year-round strategy of the T/MC and the role individuals and organizations can take to help programs like Youth Crossroads have the operating resources they need on a continuous basis.

If you'd like to volunteer your time, talent, even dollars to help the Tutor/Mentor Connection communicate these ideas, or to lead efforts that distribute volunteers from your industry into every tutor/mentor program in the City of Chicago, or in your own community, join me on our Ning site, or call 312-492-9614 to discuss ways we can help you get involved.

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