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How to Start a Program

How to Start and Sustain a Volunteer Based Tutor/Mentor Program

The essays in this section are intended to help community networks create new volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in neighborhoods where they are needed, and to help existing programs systematically improve the impact of their programs.  Read this blog article about planning process.

One of the very first steps anyone should take is to look at existing programs, how they are organized, who funds them, etc. On  this concept map we point to websites of Chicago youth programs, but also to programs  operating in other cities.  Look at these with and ask "Is this something that would help kids in our area? Is this something we could duplicate, or improve upon?"  Pick 5-10 models that you feel seem like the type of program you'd like to operate, then start building a team to put that type of program in place.   Visit this article and see yearbooks and annual reports from program Dan Bassill led from 1975 to 2010. Borrow ideas from these and use in your own program.


Think of Tutor/Mentor Programs as a retail store delivering needed services in a neighborhood

If you operate a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program, do you know who your customers are? Do you think of your organization as a store delivering a variety of needed products and services to a variety of customers? The youth are just one of the customer segments of a tutor/mentor program.


Steps for Starting and Building a new Tutor/Mentor Program

This is an essay that shows a sequence of actions, from doing research, to building a team, that can help an organization create a vision, an action plan, and a team that can make the program a reality.  Read this blog article about steps to start a program.

Success Steps - strategy of tutor/mentor programs led by Dan Bassill, founder of Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.  click here

What goes into an effective, non-school, site-based tutor/mentor program - read this article

Operating Principles -

This essay shows some of the practices that helped that were learned while leading tutoring programs in Chicago from 1975 to 2011, which may benefit others in building their own organization.


Annual Planning Calendar -

Doing the right thing at the right time makes a world of difference.  If you stretch your thinking and planning to a 15 month cy cycle you give the volunteers and staff of your organization more time to plan improvements, and you begin to build on the success and lessons learned of activities that repeat from year to year. Read this article about planning calendar and written plan.


Shoppers Guide - What Should Volunteers, Parents, Donors and Youth See on Your Web site? 

This pdf is a check list that program designers can use to develop services and to collect data that is used for process improvement and to show the public the value you offer.


Tips for Volunteer Mentors and Tutors
This pdf offers tips for tutors and mentors, compiled by teens in a Chicago tutor/mentor program and used as part of volunteer training for over 30 years.


Volunteer Training

This PDF is the outline of a training session that shares ideas for becoming an effective tutor or mentor.


Volunteer Recruitment Strategies -

It is critical that an organization is able to recruit people who will use their talent to help the organization, as well as people who will serve as tutors/mentors with kids. Visit this section for volunteer-recruitment ideas. See PDF outlining recruitment campaign strategy.


Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, c/o Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il. 60654 Phone. Skype #dbassill; FAX 312-787-7713; email: tutormentor2@earthlink.net | Powered by OpenSource!