Tutor/Mentor Connection

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The November 4, 2011 conference will be held at the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago. Information below relates to the planning for the November 2010 conference.


Karina Walker has posted a report showing participation and feedback from the November 19 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference.

In this she posted a message received from Toinette Gunn, Executive Director of Partnership to Educate & Advance Kids (PEAK), who led a workshop entitled "Parental Power: Unlocking the Key to Successful Program Outcomes". She said in her email, "I just wanted to let you know that I’ve had 4-5 people reach out to me since the presentation to ask to meet with me or get more information."

Read the full report on Karina's blog

What I want people to think about is "where can we find donors/sponsors to cover the full costs of hosting the May and November Conferences" which is close to $25,000 each.  This includes staff time during the months preceding each conference to maintain the database and network of tutor/mentor programs as well as the work of finding a location, recruiting speakers, hosting the web site, marketing the event, etc. The raw cost of the space and food for the event is also included.

Fees don't even cover the raw cost, let alone the total costs.

Thus, unless T/MC can find at least $25,000 by mid January, we will not host a face-to-face tutor/mentor conference in Chicago in May 2011.

In spring 2010 a group of Net Impact Chicago volunteers did a survey to compare the Chicago T/MC with mentoring partnerships in other cities.  You can see the preliminary report.  This shows that while the Chicago region population of over 7 million is larger than the total population served by the other partnerships, the T/MC is operating on far less revenue.  T/MC has never had more than $225,000 in a single year for everything it does. Mentoring partnerships elsewhere have revenue that ranges from $300,000 to $1.5 million per year.

Thus for the T/MC to have a greater impact in Chicago, it needs leaders from business and philanthropy and government to step forward and take ownership, as these articles encourage.

We do not have a fund raising/development staff and thus we depend on our networking with peers and supporters to help find these leaders and gain their support.  If you want to see the conferences continue, and want to see the T/MC continue, please introduce us to benefactors and sponsors who will help pay the bills.

I can be reached at 312-492-9614 or at tutormentor 2 at earthlink dot net.

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Replies to This Discussion

If we can get the space donated, that's a start. I know at least one CPS school who may be able to host us; it just has to be on a day of nonattendance. The only such day in May is Memorial Day (May 30th). In April, spring break is the week of April 18th, so any day(s) of that week should work also. Any day after June 17th (the last day of school) is also a possibility.

Memorial Day is a big travel weekend, so I'm guessing that wouldn't be ideal. How about that week in April?
April is too early. The ideal is the 2nd or 3rd week in May while volunteers are still in tutor/mentor programs.

The cost we need to cover includes cost of staff who work from Dec to May to organize the conferences and maintain the network of data and contact information. Even when we have donated space we're not covering that expense.
I just invited people to this group who expressed any sort of interest in being involved with the May 2011 conference planning process.

Welcome to those who join, and please contribute your ideas as we look toward our options in May!

Please also check out my blog for information about the conference and other events at Tutor/Mentor Connection: http://tmcpip.blogspot.com/
I'm now working on a November 2011 conference. Thank you to everyone who helped get the May Conference together at Victory Apostolic Church in Matteson, Il.    I'm thinking of doing a one-day conference, possibly on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11. May have help from MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership.  Need to locate low-cost space in area in the Chicago downtown area or nearby.  Can pay small fee if needed. May need nonprofit partner to help since Tutor/Mentor Connection does not have a non-profit structure right now due to change with Cabrini Connections.

John Hostiny of the Corporation for National Service has helped us secure the Metcalfe Building at 77 W. Jackson Boulevard in Chicago for a November 4, 2011 one-day conference.  We have one main room and four smaller breakout rooms. We will have room for registration and handouts but not for display tables.


Please begin to offer your ideas for speakers and workshops.  I am hoping to have a major involvement from MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership.

I visited the space at the Metcalfe Center in Chicago and each room has full technology. We only need to bring computers. Should be a good place for the conference.


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