Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

I just wanted to get a discussion going about an idea we have thrown around a bit at Tutor/Mentor Connection to try to raise more consistent funds for the work we are doing.

T/MC has always provided information, resources, and insights entirely free and openly. Yet as we are increasingly running into financial constrains, we are thinking it might be time to change this model. We have tossed around the idea of becoming a membership organization in which programs that benefit from our resources and services pay small annual dues.


Dan recently pointed to an article on Social Edge that I think brings up some interesting questions about "collaborative sharing" versus "competitive edge." I encourage you to read it and reflect (also see Dan's comment below the article): http://www.socialedge.org/discussions/scale/impact-scaling


Here are several questions I have regarding the feasibility of becoming a membership organization. Any ideas, other questions, or brainstorms would be appreciated! Thanks!

  • How do we best communicate the strategy and mutual benefit of collaborative action for tutor/mentor programs?
  • How do we start charging for information we had previously offered for free? What "benefits" would the organizations need to get in order for T/MC membership to be appealing to them? (ie: reduced rates to conferences, exclusive newsletters, etc)
  • Do programs have the resources to pay dues to T/MC? Would parts of what we offer still be free of charge?
  • Would becoming a "membership" organization limit our funding in other ways (ie: grant restrictions, etc.)
  • How do we reach more organizations so they are aware of what we are doing and how they can benefit from T/MC?
  • Do we have strong enough relationships with the current leaders of programs to ask for membership fees?
  • Do we have the manpower to maintain databases of members/annual fees/payments etc?

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for posting this Karina. As you and others look at this problem, brainstorm other forms of subscription than "membership".  Could people be "subscribers" for instance?  If anyone has examples of how other intermediaries collect revenue from people who use the information and services they share, please post links so we can learn from the best of what is working for others.


We need to find a way to generate revenue for T/MC to be able to constantly improve its efforts to help tutor/mentor programs grow in more places, including our own Cabrini Connections program, but we don't need to reinvent the wheel if we can find models that we can borrow ideas from.


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