May 13, 2021 – “Small” Mentoring Organizations – a deeper conversation on managing a mentoring program with a small staff

Breakout Room Notes:

What efficiencies have you found that work well? How have you maximized your resources?

  • An all-hands on deck approach to mentor recruitment
  • We get teachers & staff (who aren’t a part of the mentoring program in our school) to recruit their friends and family members to serve as potential mentors
  • We hired someone explicitly to tackle recruiting and managing events (we have a small team of 5, and now 6 employees). 
  • We host 2-3 match events a month and it’s really taxing on our staff of 2. So, we have partnered with other youth serving and community organizations to co-host match events in our community. 
  • We have partnered with our municipality and had them pay for our match events and incorporate our matches into their parks/rec activities for free/cheap. 
  • I’m the sole person in my large organization who is working on mentoring. It has been really useful to ask colleagues in other departments or programs for their feedback as I’m making changes to the program design. 
  • We have 2 staff but each of is only part time. So at the beginning we talked about each other’s strengths and weaknesses – and then we divided and conquered. Each time something new comes up – we analyze strengths/weakness/capacity again and make a decision as to who will take it on. 
  • Staff working from home, working well together (built trust)
  • Amount of time not spent in the car; finding balance of what can be done via zoom and when to prioritize seeing people
  • Microsoft Teams Chat

What do you need help with? What resources do you need? (If you are able to help with any of these, please share in the comments or contact MC staff)

  • Would like shared resources on mentor training specific to immigrant and refugee populations (please share these here in the comments if you have them!)
  • Interested in sharing and maximizing resources in mentor recruitment
  • Working on expanding awareness in other communities
  • Cross race matching
  • DEI resources
  • Parent mentor groups (peer or group)
  • Mentor training specific to generational gap
  • Group mentoring supplement
  • Special needs parent groups
  • Latino mentor recruitment
  • We have had some great success in mentor recruitment…but during COVID our youth referrals and youth recruitment has done poorly…any ideas
    • Colleagues recommended partnering with schools, therapists, community health, and case/social workers at child-welfare to get referrals
  • Mentor Recruitment was the biggest need
    • Colleagues shared some solutions
      • Volunteer match was successful for one organization
      • Word of mouth
      • Requiring board members, staff and others to bring a name of a potential mentor each month to the staff person responsible for recruitment. 
      • Social Media has been more productive than it was before the pandemic in finding potential mentors
      • More potential mentors are looking for volunteer opportunities now that things are ‘reopening’ after covid. 
      • We have partnered with our local colleges’ sports teams to recruit mentors
      • We’ve had success going door-to-door on our main street with door clings (transparent stickers) to see if they would be willing to advertise as one of our partners to get the word out. 
  • Does anyone share mentors?
  • How do you get in schools?
    • Colleagues shared ideas around meeting with school counselors and talking to the PTSA first
  • DEI is the biggest challenge right now

Did any of the ideas shared in the Mentimeter interest you? What are the pros/cons of those ideas considered?

  • AmeriCorps VISTAs
  • Interested in finding in kind support
  • It’s helpful to see options, see other ways to help achieve the vision
  • Interested in learning more about sharing staff (more schools who want school based mentors) – Erin Miller from Partners in Routt County wants to connect with anyone who shares staff!
    • Colleagues wondered if school staff could be utilized

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