Friday, June 13, 2008

Each of us has a Civic Responsibility. Marketing Solutions.

For the past week I've provided charts and graphs that illustrate a strategy for mobilizing business talent to support the entire sector of volunteer based tutoring and/or mentoring programs in Chicago, and in other cities.

Last night the Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program hosted our 15th annual year end dinner. Speakers included students, alumni, parents, volunteers and members of our leadership board. More than 150 people attended.

As I looked at this group one thought went through my mind. "This is not happening in many other places in Chicago."

It could be if more of our volunteers, business, faith and public leaders, adopt the ideas I've been outlining this week.

This chart summarizes what I've been saying. At the bottom of this funnel is a map of the Chicago region. In the Zip Code Map on the T/MC site you can click on a zip code and find contact information for organizations that offer various forms of volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring. In some areas there are great programs. In others there are few programs.

They all need a consistent flow of volunteers and dollars, along with a source of well-trained, dedicated staff. They are not all equally good at fund raising and marketing.

This chart illustrates how leaders -- who are not directly involved in a single program -- can serve as an intermediary, connecting the people in their business, church, college, family, with the map, and thus with all of the different tutoring/mentoring programs in the Chicago region.

While I can meet with anyone who contacts me to help explain this idea, we'd make more progress toward this goal if I could recruit teams of consultants who would take on the role of building these teams, as part of their own probono volunteer role.

When a community has leaders in multiple sectors who are evangelizing the need for civic engagement, volunteer involvement, and programs like Cabrini Connections, and pointing the members of their network to tutor/mentor programs in various neighborhoods, we share the responsibility for building great programs with the boards, staff and volunteers of individual programs.

We build a city of great programs. We make it possible that in future years there could be one hundred year-end dinner celebrations in neighborhoods all over the Chicago region.

Help us make this happen.

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