Friday, February 04, 2011

Building Future Impact

At the end of January "more than 17 U.S. corporations made commitments to expand or create mentoring programs that increase graduation rates among America's youth and position them for success".

We want to help them keep this commitment. Please read more.

In past articles we've used this graphic to illustrate the infrastructure needed at places like Cabrini Connections to attract youth and volunteers and support them so they stay connected for many years.

We use maps and graphics like this to illustrate that Chicago needs high quality tutor/mentor programs in every poverty neighborhood and that every non profit tutor/mentor program has the same need for visibility, volunteers, operating dollars, technology, ideas, highly motivated staff, etc. This article illustrates how we create animated graphics to help people understand and respond to this message.

When I talk to volunteers and leaders of Cabrini Connections I find myself constantly scratching out the same concept over and over. So I've created the chart below.

This chart illustrates that a company's impact can grow if they begin to plan further in advance, and if they apply the same process improvement tools that they use to grow their business. This chart shows a 12 month cycle of events that supports what happens at schools and non-school tutor/mentor programs. For instance, in May and June school is ending. This is when we should be celebrating what happened in tutor/mentor programs, while also sharing ideas that can be used to make each tutor/mentor program better when school starts in the fall.

In August, when school starts and every tutor/mentor program is looking for volunteers, corporate communications and advertising could be encouraging volunteers to get involved in many locations, if they were pointing to program locator databases like the T/MC maintains. In September and October company workplace fund raising campaigns could be encouraging other employees to make donations to support the infrastructure at places were some employees are tutors/mentors.

In November there's an opportunity for programs to come together and share ideas, and celebrate the volunteers and kids who have joined tutor/mentor programs in the fall. This publicity can help recruit more volunteers to be tutors/mentors, and some volunteers to be tech support, communicators, accountants, etc. It can also motivate more donors to make year-end donations during the holiday season to support tutor/mentor programs.

By next January, there could be a wealth of actions that have taken place in the previous 12 months, that could be celebrated, shared, and used to stimulate involvement of more businesses and more volunteers during the next 12-month cycle.

This planning cycle is describe in this pdf essay. It does not change from year to year. What we hope changes is the number of businesses who take on leadership roles, and the number of volunteers and operating dollars that begin to flow to ALL of the volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs operating in Chicago and other cities.

This graphic shows that what happens in the month following the Mentoring Summit and the corporate announcement is small compared to what could happen in three, six, nine and 12 months or in two to five years if corporate leaders recruit and empower marketing teams to grow the company's involvement and to plan ahead so they maximize and grow their own impact from year to year.

This animated presentation shows this quarterly event cycle.

If people who read this article pass it on to corporate managers and CEOs some will see this as a business strategy that they can apply which will engage more of their employees and customers and have a greater impact on reducing the drop out rate while also improving employee skills, informal networks and loyalty to the companies that supports this process.

If you'd like to have me come and talk to your company about these ideas we'd be more than willing to help.

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