Thursday, November 29, 2012

Building Network of Support - 2013 and beyond

Since 1975 I've been leading a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program connecting inner city youth in Chicago with volunteers from many different companies. I did this as a volunteer from 1975-1990 while I held full time advertising jobs with the Montgomery Ward headquarters. I did this from a non profit structure from 1990 to June 2011 and was able to raise more than $6 million from friends, family, believers, local foundations, etc. I've been trying to continue this from a LLC structure over the past 18 months, but have not yet found a strategy that generates enough to earn a salary of pay the costs of operating.

If you've read some of the articles I've posted since 2005 you'll see that I'm aggregating a wealth of information and trying to build a growing network of people who will take some time to read, reflect, discuss, then apply that information in actions that support the growth of programs that enable inner city kids and workplace volunteers to connect on an on-going basis.

You'll also see articles about geographic mapping, which enables us to look at all of the high poverty areas in Chicago where tutor/mentor programs are needed. And, you'll see articles about network building and social network analysis, which enables us to understand the growth of the network over time, as well as the talent and diversity of the network.

You'll see that this problem of concentrated poverty and the ideas I share affects every city in the country, not just Chicago. Thus help can come from many places and the tools and ideas can be applied in many places.

I created a page on the Tutor/Mentor Institute site with articles about social capital and social network analysis. I added the graphic below to one of these articles today. This shows my Facebook network and was created using a new SNA tool called FriendsGraph.

Today I found an article on The Chronicle of Philanthropy site titled 5 Qualities That Bring About Social Change

Here's a quote from the article: Alberto Ibargüen describes five common qualities in people who produce social change: figuring out what needs to change and then showing the vision, courage, knowledge, and tenacity to make things better.

Of those qualities, tenacity is the most elusive—and the most valuable, says Mr. Ibargüen, chief executive of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

"Social change takes time," he says. "It's one of the biggest problems I find with the cycles of philanthropy. We tend to work as organizations that have calendar years or fiscal years, and social change doesn't work on those schedules."

Over the past 20 years I've been trying to create change in how tutor/mentor programs are supported and thus the distribution of high quality programs in more places. I've had many people support me in the past, but need that help even more as we head to the future.

I hope that over the next 30 days a growing number of people in my Facebook, Linked in and Twitter networks will take a look at the work I'm trying to do and will provide some financial support to help me do it. Over the next 12 months I hope you'll add talent and time to the financial support so we can enter 2014 with a new organization that is better able to generate revenue and has more owners to carry this vision forward for the next 30 years or more.

Visit this page to find a PayPal where you can add your financial support.

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