Use the ideas and resources shared monthly to help youth in your zip code have opportunities to participate in well-organized, mentor-rich, non-school programs.

April-May 2016 - Issue 147
Celebrate Work. Share Ideas. Look to Future of Tutor/Mentor Organizations. 
The ideas shared in this monthly newsletter can be used by resource providers, political leaders, non profit leaders, volunteers and youth to help mentor-rich programs thrive in all of the neighborhoods where they are most needed. There's a lot of information so I try to send this only once a month. Spend a little time each week reading the articles and following the links. Use in group discussions with people who are concerned about the same issues. 
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Celebrate Work of 2015-16 School Year. Share Your Strategies.
Use your web site to show supports you offer youth and volunteers. Browse web sites of peers to learn new ideas.
Since launching the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 the goal has been to better understand and highlight the work of individual organizations so that others could learn from the good ideas of working programs. This actually started in 1975 when I started leading the tutoring program hosted at the Montgomery Ward corporation in Chicago. Not knowing much about what I was doing I began to reach out to others in Chicago, inviting them to monthly "lunch and learn" sessions.  As I did that I started building a database of existing programs and a library of handouts collected during these meetings.
In 1994, the Tutor/Mentor Connection started building a library of resources (see map) that anyone could use to build and sustain constantly improving, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs, and took that information to the Internet in 1998. I've continued that work under the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC since 2011.
While I hosted Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference in Chicago every six months from May 1994 to May 2015, others are now filling that role.
However, I still don't see an on-line space where people from different organizations are consistently sharing information about how they do specific activities, or how they perform functional roles, such as planning, evaluation, volunteer and student recruitment, screening, etc.  While I've encouraged organizations to use their web sites to showcase their work, and show their strategies, some do this well, but many do not do this at all.
In two sets of articles on the Tutor/Mentor blog I focus on "learning" and on "MOOCs".  I hope you'll spend time reviewing these and look forward to engaging with leaders and supporters from Chicago and other cities who are also looking for better ways to share ideas, build resources, and make mentor-rich programs available to more youth.   
What's Your Planning Calendar Look Like? 
While this school year is ending, your students are only one year older. They will need your help again next year. What's your plan?

While tutor/mentor programs that work on a school year schedule are now heading into the final months, this is the time when those programs should be looking toward the start of the next school year, and engaging volunteers, parents, donors and students in brainstorming and "what if" conversations, aiming to constantly improve the work they do.

Here's a blog article that focuses on planning.
Here's a PDF essay that shows a year-round planning calendar that programs might follow.
Here's a page where I share strategy pdfs created since the late 1990s. 
What's your planning calendar look like?  What's your Theory of Change? Do you share these and other ideas on your web site or in a blog?  Email and I'll post your link in the Tutor/Mentor web library.
Or, join the Linked in Tutor/Mentor Connection group on Ning or Facebook, and share a link to your web site there. 
Who else is doing an inventory of youth serving programs in Chicago, or other cities?...
Of those who maintain a map-directory of youth serving organizations, who are using this do develop an  understanding of where more programs are needed?

Read this Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) article about using maps in strategic communications.  This is what I've been describing for nearly 20 years.
While a growing number of intermediaries are using maps to show members of their network and/or organizations they support, I don't see many using blogs and other on-line resources to build an understanding of where tutor/mentor programs are most needed, where existing programs are located, where more are needed, and/or who the assets are in different neighborhoods who should be working to support the growth of high quality tutor/mentor programs.  
Browse various sections of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site and my blogs and you can see that's what I've been trying to do since 1993, and continue to try to do in 2016.  
Use these lists to find contact information for non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs in Chicago region.
Chicago Program list -

Map showing locations of Chicago Programs - click here

Facebook pages for Chicago area youth programs - click here

Map showing intermediaries supporting Chicago youth serving organization - click here

Facebook list of intermediaries - click here

Map pointing to other resources to use in finding volunteer opportunities in Chicago, and other cities - click here
Is anyone else maintaining this type of resource library in Chicago, or in  other cities? 
While You're Looking for Volunteers and Donors...
What can leaders be doing to look for programs to support?

In the business world, companies use multiple retail stores to sell products and services to customers around each store. Teams located in central offices provide functional support, so that every store is the best it can be.  What if leaders in different industries were reaching out to support the growth of high quality volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs, based on the same goal of "great programs in more places"?
I'm sure many of you are familiar with the United Way, and how teams of employee volunteers lead giving campaigns in many companies.  What would it take for employee teams to form in different industries, with the goal of supporting the growth and operations of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs throughout cities where these companies operate? What would it take for similar teams to form in faith groups and on college campuses?
Read these essays and add them to your thinking
* Talent volunteers - click here
* Mentor role in larger strategy - click here
* Role of leaders - click here
* Problem Solving Strategy- click here
See more like this in this section of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC library.
Mapping Philanthropy - Who Does It? What Can You Learn?
In order to build and sustain great youth serving organizations we need to find ways to generate more consistent, on-going funds for programs in all places where they are needed.

This map is from the Black Male Achievement Funders web site.  It's interactive, meaning you can zoom into different cities and learn what organizations have received funds and who has provided funds.
This is one of a growing number of interactive data mapping platforms that are introduced in articles on the Mapping for Justice blog, which is one of three blogs hosted by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.  Spend time browsing these articles to learn more about the distribution of philanthropic resources, and ways to use data maps to focus attention on all the places in a region where help is needed to solve the same problem. Learn to use these resources in strategies that bring more consistent funding to youth serving organizations in areas where they are most needed.
As you browse the articles I've written, consider ways you and your students might create similar articles on your own blog, so more people are visiting these sites and learning ways to support you and other youth serving organizations in Chicago and other cities.
Networking Opportunities in Chicago and beyond
While there will not be a Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference this spring, there are many other places to connect in coming months.

Here are a few events I'm aware of:
Illinois After School Network Conference, May 6-7, 2016, Springfield, IL. see details
Dare to Soar 2016 "Nonprofit Leader's Mentorship / Business Conference" to be held at Englewood Blue, 815 W 63rd St, Fl 4th, Chicago, Illinois 60621 - see details
Research Conference - Hosted by Illinois Mentoring Partnership - May 26, Matteson, Il. See details.
National Conference on Volunteering & Service, June 27-29 in Detroit. See details
Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration (ICOVA), August 10, 2016, see details 
View events on Thrive Chicago calendar. Add your own. see calendar
Events hosted by Intermediaries in Chicago. To be fully aware of networking and learning events in Chicago, you need to visit web sites of organizations shown on this map to stay informed of other networking events available to youth organizations and supporters in Chicago region. 
Connect with Tutor/Mentor Institute, and each other on social media. Click the icons at the bottom of this page to connect with T/MI.  
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