Monday, November 25, 2013

How do you tell difference between youth programs?

The work I have been doing for the past 20 years aims to increase the number of volunteers and donors who support volunteer based tutor/mentor programs in different parts of the Chicago region so each can constantly improve in the work they do to engage youth and volunteers in life-changing activities.

One challenge is finding the advertising dollars to tell stories every week in ways that would motivate volunteers and donors to go to the web site library that I host and seek out programs to support. However, an equal challenge is educating and providing capacity at the program level so they can provide information on their web sites that would telegraph the work they do, why they do it, etc. I wrote this article in Dec. 2009 reflecting on this problem.

Last week I created the graphic below. I wrote about it here, with an invitation for technologists to help build a graphic that programs might be willing to put on their web sites. Imagine a common graphic showing what age you serve, what time of day, what part of the birth to work pipeline, etc.

While others head into the holidays hoping to find volunteers and donors I hope to find investors and partners who will brainstorm and innovate new and better ways to connect those who can help with those who need help.

I encourage you to browse the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site and the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator site. You'll see a number of ideas intended to support the growth of non-school tutor/mentor programs in more places. At this link you can see a list of people and organizations who have helped me in the past. In many places you'll see where more help is needed in the future.

I'm thankful to all who have helped in the past and hopeful that more will step forward to help in the future. I hope you have the same optimism and appreciation as you head in to this holiday season.

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