Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

For those who might read the tutor/mentor program web site reviews being created in this forum, and in others in this group, Seung Jung Lee and Eunjin Cho are students from Korea who are spending a month in Chicago as interns with the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

We've asked them to look at the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Programs listed on the T/MC web site, as a first-time visitor. Here are questions we've asked them to consider:

* Home page features "mentoring or tutoring" with headline words and/or pictures

* Home page has easy-to-find subfeature of "mentoring or tutoring" with words and/or pictures

* Volunteer involvement opportunity is clear

* Contact information is clear so volunteer or donor can contact program

* Case made for why tutoring/mentoring is important

* Site shows role of tutoring/mentoring in workforce development

* Site shows benefit of volunteer involvement in tutoring/mentoring on the volunteer

* Site provides links to research related to tutoring, mentoring, poverty, education, etc.

* Site links to other tutor/mentor programs in the same city

* Site links to one or more Tutor/Mentor Connection web sites and/or Program Locator

As our interns read these reviews I it helped them begin to build an understanding of the different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. We hope other people will read the reviews and rate the web sites, using the same criteria.

As leaders of these programs read the reviews, we hope it helps them see ways to constantly improve their own web sites, by borrowing ideas from other web sites or from these reviews.

Eunjin and SeungJung will be returning to Korea in July. We thank them for all of the work they have volunteered with Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

We also hope that volunteers from tech companies and universities will volunteer their talent to help all tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities build web sites that are more effective in helping them attract youth, volunteers and donors, and keep them connected for many years.

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I launched this discussion in June 2008 to help people focus on the work that would help them recruit volunteers at the start of the 2008-09 school year. Now we are a year later, and the start of the 2009-10 school year is approaching.

What can you share about your internet and social networking strategies that have helped you recruit volunteers, and donors?

What ways can you tell your story to educate volunteers and donors to support volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs in many locations, not just your own?
The Charity Rater is an Internet based organization with a survey type tool that donors can use to better understand the work a non profit does. While this focuses on AID groups, a version of this could include the questions we're asking, to help donors, volunteers and parents better understand the differences between non school tutoring and/or mentoring organizations.

How many organizations compare their web sites to others in their field, or to a set of standards, to assure that it does the best job possible in attracting potential supports and educating  your own stakeholders?  This list was put together several years ago to show how a program that offers volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring might show that they do this via their web site.


Does your web site measure meet these recommendations? Are there other things that should be added to our list?

I started t his discussion in 2011 and a few months ago created a new PDFwhere I suggested some of these elements as things that should appear on a tutor and/or mentor program web site. 

If you're  planning a new program you night build some of these things into your program structure and strategies.  However, if you already operate a program does your web site include some of these indicators showing your vision and your history?


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