Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Copy this idea! Support Tutor/Mentor Programs.

I started building a list of Chicago tutor/mentor programs in the mid 1970s as I was looking for ideas to help me lead my own program.  When I formed the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 I formalized this process and began to build a list of all Chicago volunteer-based, youth tutor, mentor and learning programs. I shared this information via a printed directory until 2004 when we put our list in an interactive, on-line portal.  

I created the graphic shown above around 2011 to show what we were trying to do with our mapping tools and what we still wanted to do, which was create a portal that enabled donors to find and fund programs included in our database.  I describe this goal on this wiki page and in this article.

I've not been able to do this, and have not seen anyone in the non-profit sector doing work like this since the mid 2000s.

In the past year I've found an innovator in my social media accounts who is modeling what I have wanted to build.  His name is Charles Gaba and he hosts a website called where he is raising money for Democrat candidates at the Federal and state level.

Here's what you will find on the site.

This collection of photos show 42 Democrats running for seats in the House of Representatives. He's focusing on competitive races, where if enough Democrats win, they regain control of the House.  Below the collection of photos is a line that says "Act Blue Link: US House Races"

Click on that link and the screen shown below will open.

You can make one donation, which will be split evenly across all races listed, or you can pick choose who to donate to using the "Customize Amounts" option.  

Below is the "about" page on the website showing that he raised over $6 million in the 2020 Presidential cycle and another $1.3 million in the 2022 cycle.  He receives nothing.  This also shows that you can find donation pages for the U.S. Senate, Statewide Executives, State House and State Senate races.  

Building and constantly updating the website as new candidates enter the race, or some drop out, is a huge task and it's not Charles Gaba's full time job.  Read his introduction on this page.

What makes this special is that Charles Gaba posts daily on several different social media platforms, like the example I show below, which you can see here on Mastodon.Social.

I've written articles about the 4-Part Strategy
that I piloted in 1993 and have followed since then. Step 1 is collecting information (which Charles is doing). Step 2 is trying to get people to find and use the information, which Charles does daily.

Duplicate this to support youth-serving organizations.

So what if during next week's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service or January's National Mentoring Month celebrations, a group of technologists decided to duplicate this, creating a platform that could raise money for tutor/mentor programs in every city and state.  Then, once the platform is created, it could be championed by all sorts of people, with social media posts, newspaper and TV stories, one-on-one conversations, etc......all aimed at increasing funding for youth serving organizations throughout geographic areas.

While I focus this idea on helping youth serving organizations gain more consistent funding, the idea can apply to supporting any category of social and environmental benefit organization.  If a platform were built using open source technology it could be duplicated in many places without the need to start from scratch.

If we want to help high quality, mentor-rich, long-term, youth programs reach k-12  youth in every high poverty area of Chicago we must fix how programs are funded.  Building a platform like might be one way to help.

You can support Democratic candidates by using your own social media to either boost posts by Charles Gaba, or to create your own posts, pointing to the Blue24.0rg website.

If you build a platform that raises money for youth serving organizations, please share the link so I can boost your efforts.  If you already host such a platform, let's hear from you.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 based upon my own frustration about finding funding for the youth program I led.  

Now that I'm operating as Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC I've found it much more difficult to fund my work. Yet, I've been able to raise a small pool of dollars to help me keep the site available, along with this blog and my monthly newsletter and social media efforts.

Thank you to those who make contributions in 2023. Please repeat in 2024. If you were not able to support me last year, please renew your support this year.

Visit this page to send a contribution. 

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