Institute banner
Engage Youth, Volunteers, Staff, Board, Donors and Community.
February 2015 - Issue #139                Sharing ideas, connecting adults and youth, since 1993
In This Issue
Engage your community
Use this Learning Path
May Tutor/Mentor Conference
Help programs grow
Resources for Learning

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. 


What is a Tutor/Mentor Program? Where are they Most Needed? What can Volunteers & Donors do to Help Programs Grow? 
  building community
For 20 years I've collected and shared information that is intended to support the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs that reach inner city youth during non-school hours.


I know of more than 200 youth serving organizations in Chicago (see this list) who do some sort of tutoring/mentoring. In looking at program web sites some do a great job of showing why they are needed. Others don't do as well.

What might a donor or volunteer want to see on a program's web site? View this Shoppers Guide PDF.


All programs need to be finding ways to engage all of their stakeholders in an on-going process of learning what it takes to connect a youth and volunteer, and have a transformative impact on the lives of both. All programs need to find ways to engage donors and volunteer talent.   


Are you doing this as well as you need to be doing it?    


Use this Learning Path to Guide Yourself, and Your Team through the Tutor/Mentor Institute web library.
The Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site is like a "university" with information that students learn over a period of years. I've created concept maps, like the one at the left, to guide users through this map.   This new presentation showing T/MC Learning Path, was done by a 2015 intern from IIT using Prezi.  One version was done in Korean!


Video by internClick here to see a video, done by a different intern, showing the planning process every organization and network should be following to constantly improve the programs they offer to young people.

Youth in your community could be working with volunteers to create similar guides through the information available on web sites like the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. They would be building new skills, meeting new mentors, and providing a vital role of engaging more people in the work of building the programs that they benefit from.

Are you already doing this? Share your site with me and others on Twitter. I'm at tutormentorteam
Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference In Chicago - May 8, 2015
If you're in the Chicago region, use the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference to expand your own network of people and ideas, and to engage your own community.  Workshops focus on the expertise programs need to sustain long-term mentoring efforts, while networking shares ideas that programs can borrow from each other.

See Nov. 2014 conference photo album    
See articles written by 2014 conference participants.

View Conference Maps. These show that we're not attracting participation from business, media, philanthropy, government and others who need to be engaged directly with program staff and leaders so they know what they need to do to help programs grow. If you can host a workshop or panel discussion that attracts these groups, please submit a workshop proposal. 


Present a Workshop.  The next conference will be May 8, 2015 conference, at the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago. If you'd like to organize a workshop, visit this page to find details and submit a workshop proposal.


Be a Sponsor. Your contributions of $80 to $1000 help make these conferences possible. Please help. Read more.  


Questions? Please contact Dan Bassill at


Help Volunteer-Based Tutor/Mentor Programs thrive in all parts of Chicago Region


Program Locator  

Visit the this section of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site to see how maps can be used to help build a distribution of resources to all of the areas with high poverty, poorly performing schools, and other indicators showing need for volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs operating in non-school hours..


Below you can see a graphic showing four times a year
when our collective efforts can help build public greater awareness and draw needed resources directly to the different tutoring and/or mentoring programs operating in the Chicago region.


Quarterly events This  is  an event cycle that repeats every year. You can read about this here .  Apply the thinking in this article to helping volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in more places.


This is a strategy that is needed in every city with large pockets of concentrated poverty. If you already have a strategy in place, please connect with us in Chicago.

Resources for your Learning Community:  


National Equity Atlas. Explore the Atlas to get data on changing demographics, racial inclusion, and the economic benefits of equity -n 150 metro areas and every US state. visit site.


Poor By Comparison - Report on Illinois Poverty. New from Social Impact Research Center at the Heartland Alliance. Visit site.


National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. Visit site.


Black Male Achievers Network Map. See how maps can show who is working together to support a common purpose. Add yourself to the BMA network. read more   


In this section of the Tutor/Mentor Connection web library I host links to sites advocating for general operations funds, and sites showing challenges facing non profits. In this blog article I point so some examples of "crowdfunding" which I feel offers potential for small organizations to work together to attract donor support. 


Share this information with your community and encourage members to read these articles, then use their understanding to innovate ways to support your organization, or to support youth serving organizations in your community.  Browse the complete web library at  



Does your program serve children of military parents?
(this info forward from Mentoring ListServ hosted by Dr. David DuBois)
If you know of a friend who runs a program that serves children of military parents, either through a formal mentoring program, mentoring as part of a larger set of services offered, or just a unique program in schools serving this population, please forward this survey to them and ask if they will help out. To complete the survey, please go to

President's Message.  


Influence What Resource Providers do, not just what program leaders do.


This graphic illustrates the goal of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. The information shared on my web sites is intended to influence what resource providers do to provide talent, ideas, technology and operating dollars to support volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago and other cities.

The information is also intended to influence what programs do to use a better flow of resources to constantly improve the way they connect youth, volunteers and extra learning experiences, in multiple year experiences that expand the network of people supporting young people living in high poverty areas as they move from school and into work and careers.

Click here to see an explanation of the graphic shown above.  At this link you'll see a video created by an intern, to communicate this idea.


Most of my blog articles include maps and visualizations that focus attention on strategies that make comprehensive programs available in more places.  Do a Google search for "tutor mentor" then look at the images. You'll see a wide range of graphics included in articles written since 2005.


Click on web sites of other organizations in the tutoring/mentoring field. Do they use maps and graphics to communicate similar ideas? I think they should. It will take many voices to attract the consistent attention of resource providers and policy makers, and keep them focused on tutor/mentor programs for a decade or longer.  



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.    The graphic above illustrates my goal of collecting and sharing information that can be used to support programs working with youth in Chicago and other cities.

If you can provide financial support to help me continue this effort, please visit this page





Daniel F. Bassill 

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




On Twitter @tutormentorteam
Join us on Facebook 
Join Linkedin Network    

Read strategy articles on 

Archive of past newsletters