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July-Aug 2024 eNews

July-August 2024 - Issue 232

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Is Your Volunteer-Recruitment Plan in Place?

By mid July leaders of volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs are already beginning to launch volunteer recruitment campaigns for the start of the 2024-25 school year. Is your program working alone to attract attention? Or is it part of a coalition of similar programs all working toward a common purpose?


How do you find peers who are doing similar work?

That's the purpose of this newsletter and the library that I've maintained for the past 30 years.

Use the ideas and resources shared in this monthly newsletter to help you build and sustain mentor-rich, school and non-school, tutor, mentor and learning programs that reach K-12 youth in all areas of persistent poverty. These resources can be used by anyone, in Chicago, or around the world.


Please share this so others in your city can find and use these resources!

Visit Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Website

Learn from the Chicagoland Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment Campaign that I Led in Chicago from 1995 to 2006 (and beyond).

The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) was formed by myself and six other volunteers in 1993, as we were launching a new, site-based, program to help 7th and 8th grade teens connect with mentors, tutors and extra learning that would help them move through high school.


We recognized that one more small program might change the lives of the kids who participated, but would not impact the more than 200,000 kids living in high poverty areas of Chicago. Thus we formed the T/MC. It's primary commitment was to "learn all we could about volunteer-based tutor and/or mentor programs and share that to help mentor-rich programs grow in more places". We launched our first formal survey in January 1994 and 120 programs responded. We published that list in a printed Directory and invited the programs to gather and share ideas in a May 1994 conference. In spring 1995 we decided to launch an August/September campaign to help every program in our Directory attract volunteers.


You can read about that campaign on this page (and borrow ideas to launch a similar campaign in your own location!) Be sure to read the Final Reports which you can find on this page.


After 2003 we were no longer able to secure grant funding to continue organizing volunteer-recruitment fairs in multiple locations and our list of programs had been put on the Internet. Thus, in the years since then the campaign has been an effort to get more people saying "be a volunteer" during the August/September period, pointing them to our on-line list of Chicago area programs.


Below is one of dozens of media stories generated by the T/MC's Chicagoland campaign. You can find more on this page. If your organization, university, business or political leaders were to organize a similar campaign, you could build a similar collection over the next five to 10 years!


Changes to Constant Contact email address. Due to a new policy, all email coming from services like Constant Contact will have a different format. This may cause email to go into your spam box. That means the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it will now be different.

This is the address that will be on the email for this newsletter. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Use links in this concept map to find youth programs in Chicago and around the country.

Every time someone in Chicago, or in your own community says, "Help kids" or "Be a Volunteer" or "Be a donor", they should be able to point to a concept map like this, or a web page like this, with resources to help them find programs in different parts of the city or suburbs. Our collective challenge is motivating more people to use their own media and personal influence to make that call-to-action.


Keeping a list up-to-date is one of the big challenges. If you find broken links on my websites, please report them to me. If you know of programs that should be added, or deleted (no longer operating), report that to me also.


If you're a university or institution that would like to take ownership of this resource and keep it available for the next 10 to 20 years. please reach out to me. I'm now 77 and new leaders are needed.

Recruiting a Volunteer or Student is Just the Beginning.

Every year from 1975 to 2011 I repeated the same cycle. We recruited students and volunteers in August, starting with asking participants from the previous year's program to return for another year. We received a trickle of volunteer applications in August, but many more in the first two weeks of September.


We organized volunteer and student orientations and training sessions the second and third week of September and held student-volunteer matching sessions the fourth week of September. By the first week of October, most of our volunteers were matched, and began meeting weekly for the next nine months..


Actually, this process continued through October. We either had more kids signed up than volunteers, or more volunteers than kids. We tried to recruit more volunteers so we would not need to put kids on the waiting list, but by early November we shut off new enrollment. For the rest of the year new additions were replacements for people who dropped out.


Once kids and volunteers were matched, we supported weekly sessions with on-going coaching and a set of events and activities that helped build relationships and keep interest high, so participation also remained high. Our weekly handouts (printed then via the Internet), provided guidance on activities to expect, speakers, report cards, resources, etc.


We used Excel spreadsheets to track attendance so we could see when a student or volunteer was beginning to miss sessions. Follow up calls determined if that was a permanent loss, or if we were able to rebuild participation.


This was on-going.


Visit this page and read the articles about starting a program, annual planning, operating principles, and what's required each week to keep kids and volunteers involved.

Get to know the resources available to you

This concept map shows homework help and learning resources in the Tutor/Mentor Library.

Between now and November most of traditional and social media will focus on the November elections in the USA. That means it will be much more difficult for individual volunteer-based organizations to get noticed, and to recruit volunteers and donors. The information in the sections above points to resources organizations can use to build collaborations that work together to raise visibility for the entire sector, thus increasing resources for each organization.


However, elections have a purpose. Hopefully each state and city will elect representatives who study the information I share in the "Law, Justice, Poverty and Prevention" section of the Tutor/Mentor library and will work to undo the structural barriers that make it more difficult for poor and middle income people to thrive. View the concept map at this link.


View my complete collection of concept maps on this page. Create your own versions using cMapTools or some of the tools I point to in these articles.

Below are resources to use. View latest links added to tutor/mentor library, click here

Recent Tutor/Mentor Blog articles that point to Tutor/Mentor Connection archived files:



Repeat after me! Try it! View newsletters from 1990s- click here


The Internet. A force for change. 1998 message - click here


Saving our digital history - click here


Drawing from my archives - Network Building 2007 - click here


Still judged by color of their skin. Things I fear. - click here


Create a learning group to understand goals of Tutor/Mentor blog - click here


What if political candidates did this?. - click here


Browse the archives. Apply the ideas. - click here


Thanks from Inspired Youth tutoring program - 2006 and 2024 - click here




Bookmark these Tutor/Mentor Resources


* Chicago Volunteer-Based tutor, mentor program list - click here


* Resource Library - click here


* Strategy PDFs by Tutor/Mentor - click here


* Work done by interns - click here


* Maps and Map-Stories from past 30 years - click here


* Political Action resources - click here


* Featured collections on Wakeletclick here


* Tutor/Mentor Institute Videos - click here


* About T/MI articles on blog - click here


* History of T/MC - T/MI articles - click here


* Create a New Tutor/Mentor Connection - click here


* Chicago Youth Serving Organizations in Intermediary Roles - click here to view a concept map showing many organizations working to help improve the lives of Chicago area youth. Follow the links.

Resources & Announcements



* NYLC 2024 Virtual Youth Leadership Summit - July 25. Still time to register - click here


* South Side STEM Asset maps - read about using maps - click here


* University of Michigan Poverty Solutions data maps - click here


* Persistent Poverty in America - click here


* Discover Engineering. Future City competitions for 2024-25 season - click here


FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) - click here


* MyChiMyFuture - Chicago youth programs map and directory. click here; visit the website - click here


* To & Through Project website - click here: Follow on Twitter - @UChiToThrough


* Center for Effective Philanthropy - click here


* Forefront -Illinois' statewide association of nonprofits, foundations and advisors. click here


* AfterSchool Alliance resources - click here



* Chicago Mentoring Collaborative - click here


* Chicago Public Schools locator map - click here


* Chicago Health Atlas - click here


* Digital Divide resources - click here


* Proven Tutoring clearinghouse - click here


* Chicago Learning Exchange - click here


* Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative - click here


* Chicago Digital Equity Coalition - click here


* Illinois Broadband Lab - click here


* Incarceration Reform Resource Center - click here



* ChiHackNight - remote civic technology meet-up; every Tuesday in Chicago - see weekly agenda



About this newsletter.


While I try to send this only once a month, I write blog articles weekly. Throughout the newsletter I post links to a few of the articles published in the past month or earlier. I encourage you to spend a little time each week reading these articles and following the links. Use the ideas and presentations in group discussions with other people who are concerned about the same issues.

view current and past newsletters at this link.


Please encourage friends, family, co-workers to sign up to receive this newsletter. Click here.

(If you subscribe, don't forget to respond to the confirmation email).

Thank you for reading. I had to buy a new printer/scanner!

Please help fund the T/MI.

Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

Serving Chicago area since 1993

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