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Program Improvement. Volunteer & Youth Support. Capacity Building 
October 2014 - Issue #136                                                                  Founded 1993 in Chicago
In This Issue
Networking Conference, Nov. 7
Innovate new ways
What I'm Reading
Quick Links

Use Tutor/Mentor Connection on-line library. 






While you can use a search engine like Google and find information to help you build and sustain a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program, you can also use the T/MC library.

The library has aggregated and categorized more than 2000 links to information leaders, volunteers and donors can use to build a collective understanding of where and why tutor/mentor programs are needed, as well as ways to support them more consistently for a longer period of years.   

Many of these links focus on Chicago. If you're collecting similar information, focused on a different city, please share the link to your library and I'll add it.  If you'd like to submit a link to the library just register, log in, and use the "Add a New Link" feature to suggest a link. These are moderated and if approved, your link will be added to the site.

What's New in the Library?
Use the sort feature to see most recent entries to the library.

Information Categories in Library


* education reform
* social capital
* drop out crisis
* mentoring
* tutoring
* prevention
* policy issues

Collaboration, Innovation & Process Improvement

Fund Raising and Philanthropy
* general operating
* challenges facing NPOs
* understanding philanthropy
* workplace giving

Volunteer Recruitment portals and resources


Blogs by leading thinkers , consultants, tutor/mentor programs, etc.

Homework Help

Chicago area youth program links

Programs & Networks in other cities

Volunteer Training. Conferences

Law, Poverty, Prevention

Poverty and Crime Maps

Technology and "cool tech tools"  

Link to


There are many additional categories in the library. Spend some time browsing the sections and bookmark those you'd like to visit again. 





Illustrated PDF strategy essays in Tutor/Mentor library.
Click here


Visualizations of strategy in Tutor/Mentor Pinterest library 


Mapping for Justice blog, with examples of how GIS maps can be used.  Click here.


Archive of Past



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.

If the newsletter does not format correctly in your email, or if you want to see this newsletter graphics and maps click this link:   


Share this with others who want to help youth in your city. 

Network, Learn from Peers in Chicago Area. Work together to build pool of Resources.

Plan to attend the November 7, 2014 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference to learn from peers in other programs.

The conference will be held at the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago, 77 W. Jackson,  on Friday, November 7, 2014.  The roster of workshop presenters includes a wide range of experiences and topics. See the speaker  list here.  See Agenda

In this blog article, Valarie Leonard,  describes her workshop, which she titles "If I build it, will they come" and encourages others to attend the conference.  
In this article E. Wilson describes her own workshop, which she titles: My workshop, " Creating a Mobile and Social Media Strategy for Fundraising "
If you're a speaker, or have attended past conferences, I encourage you to write your own article and help build participation in the conference, and visibility for all tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region.  I'll be building a list of these articles on this blog post.

See photo album from past conferences here 
Visit this page to read about goals for the Tutor/Mentor Conferences, which have been held in Chicago since May 1994.


Visit the Tutor/Mentor  Institute Video Channel  to see more ways to support the growth of youth tutoring,mentoring programs.. 


Innovate new ways to help all youth tutoring, mentoring, learning programs attract needed resources.

The Tutor/Mentor Conferences are intended to inspire people in public, private and non-profit sectors to borrow ideas from existing programs and solutions to innovate new ways to support constantly improving tutoring, mentoring and learning programs and help make them available to k-16 youth in all areas with high concentrations of poverty and other indicators showing need for extra adult and learning supports.


This newsletter and weekly blog articles have the same goal. Since we're headed into the year end philanthropy and gift giving period, below are some ideas I hope you'll discuss in open forums, even if you can't attend the November 7th conference in Chicago.



Crowd Funding. This graphic is from a page enabling any of the organizations who are part of the HIVE network of digital learning programs to raise funds, and compete for extra dollars.  I wrote about this in this article



This is graphic shows pages from the Boston Indicators Project and Boston Common web sites. In this article I provide links to these sides and show how data collected to show where help is needed in the Boston area is supported by another platform that is helping raise money for organization operating in each category.


Are you signed up for #ILGiveBig, which is being organized by the Donors Forum of Chicago with a goal of raising $12 million raised by Illinois nonprofits from 100,000 individual donors -- in one day..


These are all steps in the right direction, aimed at helping a wide range of organizations find the operating dollars they need. If a larger number of youth tutoring, mentoring and learning programs are represented, our next challenge will be a) increase the number of donors; and b) increase the ability of each organization to use the funds in constant program improvement.


TutorMentor Store This leads to learning from others. This graphic illustrates that non-school programs can offer many different forms of learning and mentoring. It's part of a  PDF essay showing how teams from the business community can support the growth of mentor rich organizations.


On Pinterest I show many graphics that have been used in Tutor/Mentor articles. Many were created by interns, which illustrates another form of learning that volunteers could support in many different programs. In future conferences youth could be leading workshops using their own graphics to organize and communicate ideas.


chicago programs map I include maps in most of my articles to emphasize the need for solutions that reach youth in all high poverty areas of a region, not just in a few high profile areas, or high profile organizations.


If you're already part of groups looking at these ideas, or have created innovative solutions that help programs throughout Chicago or other cities, use Twitter or Facebook to share  your links with me and others. 

What I'm reading:  


"Passion at Work: Cultivating Worker Passion as a Cornerstone for Talent Development " This Deloitte University Press report describes passionate workers as people who "are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance."  Read more


Richest People in the US. The Forbes 400. See what I wrote about "Billionaires adopting Neighborhoods of Chicago. Click here


The  Chicago Health Atlas , one of the projects of the  Smart Chicago Collaborative . Read more

Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World, from the SSIR web site. Click here

November 4, 2014 Election Toolkit, from Voices for Illinois Children. Click here


Browse the Tutor/Mentor Connection Web Library for articles to support your on-going learning and efforts to build and sustain organizations that help improve the quality of life for everyone living in urban areas such as Chicago  If you find interesting article in the library, share with your friends and volunteers on Twitter.


President's Message.  


Did you take part in Chicago Ideas Week?


Were you one of the hundreds, or thousands, of people who participated in the many workshops offered in Chicago last week  under the Chicago Ideas Week umbrella?

I was not able to attend any of the sessions because I was attending sessions focused on data visualization  which is important to the work I've been doing for the past 20 years.  I also attended a Hive Chicago networking meeting and continued to follow up on contacts made earlier in the month at events hosted by the Smart Chicago School of Data Collaborative and the UIC Urban Forum
At the same time I was organizing workshops for the November 7 Tutor/Mentor Conference and networking with people from Chicago and throughout the country who I've connected with over the past 20 years.
There's not enough time to go to everything.  Furthermore, in most events with more than 20 people in the room, there's not much interaction and in-depth learning. You really need to go to the web site and spend time reading and thinking about what was presented. You need to find ways to engage in one-on-one, on-going dialogue.
And that's difficult.
I began building the Tutor/Mentor Connection library in the 1970s as part of an effort to support volunteers in the tutor/mentor program I was leading in Chicago. I was a volunteer with a full time advertising career. Our program had more than 200 volunteers by 1980. As I collected information for peers in other programs and from events I attended I shared this with my volunteers, including others who were in leader roles. Then I created opportunities for volunteers to interact with myself and each other, so we could support volunteers as they had questions, while encouraging them to draw from this web lib rary.

That library continued to grow through the early 1990s and in 1998 it was moved to the internet, where it still continues to grow. Along the left side of this newsletter are links to different sections of the library.

The goal is the same as when I led a single program. Now the information is available to every program in Chicago, as well as donors and program leaders. It's available to people throughout the world!

When people visit my web sites they say "Wow. There's a lot of information here." What they really mean, is "There's too much information." Or, "I don't have time to read all of this."

Yet, as I pointed out in this article, or if you read Malcolm Gladwell's writing, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to really be an expert at something. 

Enough is Enough This graphic was created by an intern. It communicates an idea first launched in a blog article in 2007 I've repeated over and over since 1993.

If we're going to become good at solving the complex problems facing this world, some of us our going to need to spend thousands of hours reading the information shared by others. 

In this concept map I show dozens of organizations who serve as intermediaries, and collect others to information and ideas. Hive Chicago, Chicago Ideas Week, the Smart Chicago Collaboration and my own Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC are hubs. No matter how big your network is, we need to find ways to stimulate deeper learning and engagement that crosses from one group to another.

This is why I participate in data visualization groups and why I participate in MOOCs such as the Deeper Learning MOOC, or the Making Learning Connected MOOC. 

I find ideas in the different groups I connect with, like the HIVE Challenge, which I hope can be applied to efforts that draw needed dollars, talent and technology to youth tutoring/mentoring programs in Chicago and other cities. 
I hope others spend time in my sites and find ideas they can use to support their own efforts.



The Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago will be Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. This is part of an on-going process and I hope you will attend. However, if you cannot attend I hope we can connect on-line or in some other ways.
  Sponsor donations are needed to help organize and pay for the conferences, and cover part of the costs of maintaining the web library and mapping resources. Sponsor donations are now eligible for tax deduction. Read about Becoming We the People taking role of fiscal agent for tutor/mentor conference.  

There's a lot of information in this newsletter. I hope you'll save it, and refer to it often in the coming month. Thank you for reading. If you'd like to connect with me, just reach out via one of the social media links below.    





Daniel F. Bassill 

Daniel Bassill
Tutor/Mentor Connection
Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC 




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