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2nd Edition of the Standards of Effective Practices

Program Design and Planning

Design the parameters of the program:

  • Define the youth population that the program will serve.
  • Identify the types of individuals who will be recruited as mentors (such as senior citizens, corporate employees, and college students).
  • Determine the type of mentoring that the program will offer (one to one, group, team, peer, e-mentoring).
  • Structure the mentoring program as a stand along program or as part of an existing organization.
  • Define the nature of the mentoring sessions (such as career development, academic support and socialization).
  • Determine what the program will accomplish and what outcomes will result for the participants, including mentors, mentees and sponsoring organizations.
  • Determine when the mentoring will take place.
  • Determine how often the mentors and mentees will meet and how long the mentoring should endure.
  • Decide where mentoring matches primarily will meet (workplace, school, faith-based organization, juvenile correction facility, community setting, or virtual community).
  • Decide who are program stakeholders and how to promote the program.
  • Decide how to evaluate program success.
  • Establish case management protocol to assure that the program has regular contact with both mentors and mentees concerning their relationship.

Plan how the program will be managed:

  • Select the management team:
    • Establish policies and procedures
    • Implement ongoing staff training and professional development
  • Develop a financial plan
    • Develop a program budget
    • Determine the amount of funding needed to start and sustain the program
    • Identify and secure a diversified funding stream needed to start and sustain the program
    • Determine the amount of time each funding source can be expected to provide resources
    • Establish internal controls and auditing requirements
    • Establish a system for managing program finances
  • Implement the program
    • Recruit program participants, such as mentors, mentees, and volunteers
    • Screen potential mentors and mentees
    • Orient and train mentors, mentees, and parents/caregivers
    • Match mentors and mentees
    • Bring mentors and mentees together for mentoring sessions that fall within program parameters
    • Provide ongoing support, supervision, and monitoring of mentoring relationships
    • Recognize the contribution of all program participants
    • Help mentors and mentees closure
  • Plan how to evaluate the program
    • Decide on the evaluation design
    • Determine what data will be collected, how it will be collected and the sources of data
    • Determine the effectiveness of the program process
    • Determine the outcomes for mentors and mentees
    • Reflect on and disseminate findings

Creating a mentoring program

 Program Management

Ensure the program is well-managed

  • Form an advisory group
    • Define the advisory group roles and responsibilities
    • Recruit people with diverse backgrounds to serve on the group
    • Facilitate the advisory group meetings to improve programming and management
  • Develop a comprehensive system for managing program information
    • Manage program finances
    • Maintain personnel records
    • Track program activity, such as volunteer hours and matches
    • Document mentor/mentee matches
    • Manage risk
    • Document program evaluation efforts
  • Design a resource development plan that allows for diversified fundraising
    • Seek in-kind gifts
    • Hold special events
    • Solicit individual donors
    • Seek corporate donations
    • Apply for government funding
    • Seek foundation grants
  • Design a system to monitor the program
    • Review policies, procedures and operations on a regular basis
    • Collect program information from mentors, mentees and other participants
    • Continually assess customer service
  • Create a professional staff development plan
    • Provide ongoing staff training
    • Build on staff members’ skills and knowledge
  • Advocate for mentoring
    • Advocate for pro-mentoring public policies and funding at the local, state and federal levels
    • Encourage private sector leaders to adopt pro-mentoring policies and provide funding
  • Establish a public relations/communications effort
    • Identify target markets
    • Develop a marketing plan
    • Gather feedback from all constituents
    • Develop partnerships and collaborations with other organizations
    • Recognize mentors, mentees, other program participants, funders, and organizations that sponsor mentoring programs

Program Operations

Ensure strong, everyday operations

  • Recruit mentors, mentees and other volunteers
    • Define eligibility for participants, including mentors, mentees, and parents/caregivers
    • Market the program
    • Conduct awareness and information sessions for potential mentors

Recruitment

  • Screen potential mentors and mentees
    • Require written applications
    • Conduct reference checks, such as employment record, character reference, child abuse registry, driving record, criminal record checks, and sexual abuse registry checks
    • Conduct face to face interviews
    • Hold orientations

Application and Screening Process

  • Orient and train mentors, mentees and parents/caregivers
    • Provide an overview of the program
    • Clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations
    • Discuss how to handle a variety of situations

Orientation
Curriculum

  • Match mentors and mentees
    • Use established criteria
    • Arrange an introduction between mentors and mentees
    • Ensure mentors, mentees and parents/caregivers understand and agree to the terms and conditions of program participation

Matching Strategy

  • Bring mentors and mentees together for mentoring sessions that fall within the program parameters
    • Provide safe locations and circumstances
    • Provide resources and materials for activities
  • Provide ongoing support, supervision and monitoring of mentoring relationships
    • Offer continuing training opportunities for program participants
    • Communicate regularly with program participants and offer supporto Help mentors and mentees define next steps for achieving mentee goals
    • Bring mentors together to share ideas and support
    • Establish a process to manage grievances, resolve issues and offer feedback
    • Assist mentors and mentees whose relationship is not working out
    • Ensure that appropriate documentation is done on a regular basis

Monitoring
Support, Recognition and Retention

  • Recognize the contribution of all program participants
    • Sponsor recognition events
    • Make the community aware of the contributions made by mentors, mentees, supporters, and funders
    • Actively solicit feedback from mentors and mentees regarding their experience
    • Use information to refine program and retain mentors
  • Help mentors and mentees reach closure
    • Conduct private, confidential interviews with mentors and mentees
    • Ensure mentors, mentees and parents/caregivers understand program policy regarding their meeting outside the program 

Closure Steps

Program Evaluation

Ensure program quality and effectiveness

  • Develop a plan to measure program process
    • Select indicators of program implementation viability and volunteer fidelity, such as training hours, meeting frequency and relationship duration
    • Develop a system for collecting and managing specified data
  • Develop a plan to measure expected outcomes
    • Specify expected outcomes
    • Select appropriate instruments to measure outcomes, such as, questionnaires, surveys, and interviews
    • Select and implement an evaluation plan
  • Create a process to reflect and disseminate evaluation findings
    • Refine the program design and operations based on the findings
    • Develop and deliver reports to program constituents, funders, and the media (at minimum yearly, optimally, each quarter)

Evaluation Process



Iowa Mentoring Partnership | 200 E. Grand Ave. | Des Moines, IA 50309 | (515) 242-4772
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