Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Invitation to Chicago Billionaires

Today the Chicago Tribune introduced us to 17 Chicago area residents who are among the richest people in the world. You can meet them here.

I saw another article in the paper talking about how the Chicago Bears were considering offering naming rights to their new facility in Lake Forest, which might generate up to $2 million a year in revenue.

That got me thinking. I wrote this article in August 2011 suggesting that we might offer naming rights to different components of the Tutor/Mentor Connection or Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, just the way sports teams, colleges, hospitals and art museums do.

Take a look at these logos. Could a local or national advertiser or benefactor put their name on one of these platforms?

How about the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference? The Broad Foundation funds a number of initiatives intended to build stronger leadership of public school systems. Why wouldn't a philanthropist fund an effort to build strong leadership for community based and non-school initiatives that expand learning opportunities and help prepare youth to come to the traditional school better prepared to learn?

I created this list of Think Tanks a year ago. Look at how many have the name of a benefactor. Why can't the Tutor/Mentor Institute have the name of one of Chicago's wealthiest people associated with it?

Or how about putting a sponsor name on the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator's Interactive Map. Investing more dollars will not only enhance the features of this map, but it can also increase the number of people in Chicago who use it to support the growth of tutor/mentor programs in high poverty areas. It could lead to the Program Locator being used in other cities, not just Chicago.

Attaching a benefactor's name to these assets can generate revenue to fully develop them and the ideas shown here. It can help us and others connect, share ideas and work together to enhance the growth of programs that help youth overcome poverty and reach their fullest potential. However, a benefactor making this investment would also be signaling his/her commitment to the strategy shown in this map.

It does not cost anything, or generate revenue for the Tutor/Mentor Institute, for a leader to adopt this strategy
and put a page with this information on his/her web site. It does require a commitment to long-term actions that reach youth in more places with age-appropriate supports that help those young people grow up and find places in work and neighborhoods where they can raise their kids without worrying about someone shooting them while they come and go from school every day.

I've been a fan of the Internet since it was first introduced to me by one of my volunteers in 1997 or 1998. I love the potential that anyone can post an idea to a blog or web page and that idea can be viewed by anyone in the world, even by one of the seventeen billionaires in Chicago.

Or by someone who has less wealth but a deep commitment to use the wealth they have to support the ideas shared on this blog and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site.

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