Our goal is to increase the number of stories that draw attention and resources to tutor/mentor programs in every poverty neighborhood using same strategies as advertisers for fast food, banks, lenders, TV shows.
To do this we've created an annual event/marketing plan that repeats from year-to-year. Starting a volunteer volunteer-based tutor/mentor program is difficult, but is really the easiest part of the lessons we're sharing in the Tutor/Mentor Institute. Sustaining a program and growing it into a great program, having a life changing impact on youth, as well as volunteers, is a long-term process. Thus, leaders need to have a business plan for finding resources to fuel constant innovation and process improvement.
This calendar of events has been developed over the past 18 years as part of an effort to bring more attention and resources to volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs operating in Chicago and other cities. We are still looking for partners/sponsors for 2013-14. Read more.
For this strategy to succeed in Chicago or any other city sponsors from different industry sectors need to step forward. Without your help these events cannot do what they are intended to do.
The articles and links in this section focus on marketing and resource mobilization strategies.
The Tutor/Mentor Connection's annual event calendar has four key events that work like spark plugs to energize the constant effort to increase visibility, create advertising, and draw resources to tutor/mentor programs in all high poverty areas of the Chicago region.
Volunteer Recruitment starts in August with efforts to increase the number of people who volunteer time, talent or dollars at tutor/mentor programs as school starts in late August and early September. Each year T/MC seeks to create events that help build visibility for tutor/mentor programs, and raise needed dollars for the T/MC
Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference in November. This event intends to draw leaders, volunteers and supporters together after the initial start up stages of recruiting and matching students and volunteers. It is also intended to create public awareness that encourages year end donations to tutor/mentor programs.
Feb/March Motivation/Recruitment event. The T/MC seeks to create an event at this time of year. The volunteers who have joined in August/September are beginning to realize how difficult it is to change the life-direction for a youth who has grown up in high poverty, often surrounded by more negative career aspirations than positive ones. Volunteers are also learning that not all programs are as good or well funded as necessary, thus support is weak and learning resources are scarce. Volunteers are also finding it difficult to leave work each week, to maintain the weekly commitment. Finally, not all kids say "thank you" and not all kids attend regularly. Some make little or no visible progress. All of this causes volunteers to drop out, often just disappearing without even notifying the program. Thus, an event at this time of the year is intended to energize volunteers, recruit replacements, and most of all, convert volunteers into leaders and resource-builders who help programs improve from year to year.
Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference in May/June. This event is intended to celebrate the good work that volunteers, students and programs have done, while sharing best practices that can be used in multiple programs as part of summer planning, and year-to-year improvement. T/MC provides maps to show where programs are located, and to illustrate that more are needed in many places. T/MC also provides charts that illustrate that kids move toward jobs one year at a time. A youth in fifth grade is only in sixth grade the next year. These reminders are intended to spur year-to-year growth, as well as the investment of resources by businesses, churches, hospitals and others who want to end poverty, improve schools, increase the quality and diversity of the workforce, and make the American Dream available to everyone in the country.
Visit the other sections of this web site to learn more about the conferences, volunteer-recruitment and collaboration strategies that can help individual programs, and communities of many programs, adopt these strategies and build the infrastructure needed to support multiple programs in Chicago and other big cities of the world. Read articles that make a Case for Business Involvement, and use these to recruit local businesses as partners, who use their own advertising to draw volunteers and donors to neighborhood programs.