November 12, 2020 – Advocating for Mentoring with your Elected Officials during the Pandemic

Resources from the Virtual Coffee:

  • Video Recording of Q&A with Abbie Evans – LINK
  • 2021 Capitol Hill Day (virtual) – LINK

Notes from Breakout Rooms:


  • Programs would benefit from some basic messaging templates, collateral and a step-by-step guide. They feel like without these things, they don’t really know where to start. 
  • Could MENTOR and MENTOR Colorado be available for outreach after programs’ first attempts at outreach. They are anticipating coming to a place of: “I’ve reached out, we met once…now what”


  • There is a value-add of doing advocacy:
    • Helps elevate voices of our participants/families to the elected officials
    • Learning (from our elected officials) what they think, what they are hearing about in the community and needs that they see/have that potentially our program could address or help
  • Several of the key steps in advocacy (relationships-first, highlight events and ways to participate, include them in communications) are valuable in ALL settings not just with elected officials. One staff member saw how using these same reminders would be useful for their own mentors who be e-exhausted, or disengaged, or not realizing how much of a difference they are making.
  • Today’s presentation made me realize we work regularly with city councils where we have programs. I don’t really think about that work as “advocacy” but I guess it is! They are an important constituency for us and our work. We invite Councilmembers to hear presentations by our youth and provide feedback and ideas on how to strengthen the proposals.
  • In our rural communities, we see the important officials at the market and in our streets. I liked the idea of involving youth in some of these conversations.
  • Still struggling to see how to engage elected officials when my program is privately funded and faith-based. 
  • Will be subscribing elected officials to newsletter
  • Will use the National templates for proclamations
  • Interested in networking with school district officials
  • Will ask elected officials for appearances on virtual coffees for mentors
  • Have already created a connection with a mayor who is serving as a mentor (hopeful this will set an example and encourage others to mentor)
  • Important to determine what the message and objective is
    • If it’s not asking for money, becomes about education
    • Communication is rapid so may need to adjust from usual pace – be ready to present points quickly and concisely
    • Large focus on mental health right now – educating officials on how mentoring can positively affect this
  • Board member – preparing to ask other board members and CEO about connections they might have that could be leveraged
  • Staff capacity issues – think about using Board members to provide/gain access, or to represent the organization in the room with officials

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