Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Wish. Awards for Strategic Business Investment

If you've visited this blog I hope you've also visited the Mapping for Justice blog. This one provides a broader range of information and ideas intended to engage more people in support of organized, non-school programs that connect youth and volunteers in muti-year efforts. The Mapping for Justice blog focuses narrowly on the use of Geographic maps and visualizations.

During the last two months of 2014 I've posted a series of concept maps, like the one at the left, that illustrate strategies I hope are adopted in many places, that support the on-going growth and distribution of tutor/mentor programs in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities.

During the January National Mentoring Summit, several businesses will be recognized for their "outstanding contributions to advancing quality mentoring opportunities for young people". At the annual National Conference on Volunteering and Service , to be held in October 2015, the Corporation for National and Community Service provides this Award of Excellence to businesses with outstanding corporate volunteer engagement strategies.

In many articles on this blog I've used graphics to show the 12 years it takes for a youth to go from first grade to 12th grade, and the need for on-going operating support to organizations in every poverty neighborhood who have strategies to help youth succeed in this journey. I've pointed to challenges facing non profits, resulting from an inconsistent flow of operating dollars and an almost non-existing advertising budget, which makes it extremely difficult for high quality tutor/mentor programs to realistically be operating in every poverty neighborhood of any city.

Thus, my wish for 2015 and beyond is that awards be given to companies who form teams of volunteers who research ways their company can engage employee talent and company resources to provide on-going flows of talent and dollars to support youth serving organizations who show strategies aimed to help youth move through school and into careers. Such teams would use the maps I've pointed to here, and on the Mapping for Justice Blog, as part of their own research. Maps like the one below can be used as study guide, or to stimulate thinking on the benefits to adopting such strategies.

In this Shoppers Guide I show some indicators that I feel should show up on the web sites of non school, volunteer based tutor/mentor programs. As I talk to my peers I encourage them to create their own strategy graphics and blog articles, showing the challenges they face and encouraging business to support them, and all other, youth serving organizations in the city where they operate.

Companies might use this Role of Leaders PDF as a guide for launching internal teams.

I'd like to see a similar guide showing indicators that would appear on business web sites, showing a CEO commitment to engaging company resources in strategic, on-going efforts to help more kids move through school and showing strategies the company is applying to mobilize more and more resources and distribute their influence to all locations where they do business or where employees live.

If companies from every industry and profession were encouraging volunteer involvement in neighborhoods throughout the city, programs from throughout the city might be able to show a greater diversity of volunteers and funding. Using Social Network Analysis tactics every program might begin to publish graphics similar to this, showing the different jobs/careers modeled by volunteers within their organization, or showing sources of operating resources, technology, talent and ideas.

Finally, my 2015 wish includes a hope that one or two investors/benefactors will step forward and put their name on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, with a major contribution and long term commitment. This strategy map shows what I've been building and all the different places where investment is needed to do this better than I've been able to so far.

I recognize the vast amount of information I've provided in 2014 and in past years and that while my visualizations make sense to me, they may not make sense to others who've not spent as many years thinking about this as I have. Thus, I encourage you to invite me to your company or organization (for a small fee) where I can spend time talking with you about any of these articles or graphics.

Happy New Year to all who read these articles. Best wishes to you, your families and the people who serve in your own efforts.

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