Quality-Based Mentoring

An initiative that we created, Quality-Based Mentoring (QBM) assists youth-mentoring programs in assessing, evaluating and, ultimately, increasing the quality of their services. We believe QBM is the most important work our organization has accomplished in our history.

We use a 58-question assessment tool to guide our process and offer from a range of 200 tools and trainings to customize a tailored improvement plan for each nonprofit. We work on board development, fundraising, staff development, strategic planning, and many aspects of running a high-quality youth program. The entire process, from assessment to work plan to graduation takes over a year.

Supporting Research and Information

Our impetus to start QBM was a meta-analysis on youth programs conducted by Researcher David DuBois. Although mentoring is an evidence-based prevention strategy that can truly change lives, DuBois found only a few mentoring programs created strong positive effects in youth, and the majority of programs offered just a modest change in youth behavior. A few programs actually created worse behaviors in youth. A key finding revealed that best practices and youth outcomes are directly correlated — the more best practices a program uses, the better the youth outcomes achieved.

Our initiative is based on an identical initiative in Massachusetts, and is on the forefront of a national movement to distinguish high-quality youth programs nationwide. QBM is designed to improve best practices in youth programming, including organizational sustainability. Similar to best practices in teacher education, QBM is based on a coaching model rather than a pure training system in order to create genuine change in knowledge and behavior.