Thursday, November 11, 2021

Benchmarking: Comparing your youth program to others

 I created this graphic nearly 10 years ago to visualize the process of comparing your own tutor/mentor program to others, to see if you're doing what you should be doing to help kids and support volunteers, or to find new ideas that might make your organization better.

I tagged a few articles with Benchmarking and encourage you to skim through them.  I also created this "Shoppers Guide" to suggest some things people might want to see on your website. 

To aid this process I've been maintaining a list of Chicago area, non-school organizations that include various forms of volunteer-based tutoring and/or  mentoring in their core strategies.  

In October I posted this article showing that the website where I've hosted this information since 2006 will be no longer available after December 31. I showed some ideas I was thinking about of where the move the library.  

Below are two screenshots showing the first, and most important, stage in that migration.

The Chicago area Tutor/Mentor Programs links can now be found at this site.  I continue to organize my list by sections of the city and suburbs.  I added a new category of "college access" programs to focus on some who focus on getting kids through high school and into college and draw kids from multiple neighborhoods.   Actually many programs have this goal, but these focus their strategies more completely on this strategy. 

The next graphic shows a second set of links to youth programs that include volunteer based tutoring, mentoring and support for youth.  

The links in this section point to youth programs throughout the USA and around the world as well as many who include a focus on STEM, Arts, Dance and/or music.

Using this resource anyone can learn more about what different youth programs offer and can borrow ideas for starting new programs and/or improving existing programs.

I hope you find this useful.  Use the links to compare what you're doing to what other people are doing. If you see something you like, show it to your donors and ask them to help you incorporate that idea into your own program.  If what you're doing seems superior to most of what you see, show that to your donors, too, and say "keep funding us".

I continue to share maps in my articles to encourage communities to determine what level of program availability they have.  If they see a need for more programs, or for specific types of services, they can borrow ideas from the other programs in Chicago or around the country. There's no need to start from scratch.

That's the goal of all of this information. We need to have great, mentor rich programs, serving K-12 youth in every high poverty neighborhood.

I make the information I share available at no cost because I want to help every high poverty neighborhood in Chicago and its suburbs have great programs helping kids through school and into adult lives.

However, there's a cost to doing this and for the most part, I have absorbed that myself since 2011.  If you want to help, make a contribution as a year end gift. I'm not a non-profit, so your gift is not tax exempt.  However, it helps keep this information available.

Thank you. 

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