Mentoring Program Sustainability Resources


September 2009


High school students standing together

The following resources, developed by our National Mentoring Center project (1998-2012), can help youth mentoring programs in both school and community settings plan for a sustainable future. These resources cover many aspects of sustainability, such as fundraising, marketing and branding, and partnership development.

Sustainability Planning and Resource Development for Youth Mentoring Programs
One of the major challenges facing mentoring programs of all types is the search for funding and resources that can sustain the program over time. This guidebook, revised in 2007, provides detailed advice for creating a customized sustainability plan. Specific chapters cover common funding streams, such as government grants, foundations, and individual giving campaigns. The appendix also features essays from some of the country's leading nonprofit consultants on topics such as the role of the board in fundraising, effective advocacy, and ethical issues in raising funds for youth-serving programs.

Marketing for the Recruitment of Mentors
This comprehensive guide connects the principles of marketing with the recruitment of volunteer mentors. Designed as a workbook, it offers numerous worksheets and tools to help your program plan for and implement a marketing plan. It covers everything from creating effective media messages to building a strong program "brand" in the community.

Building a Sustainable Mentoring Program: A Framework for Resource Development Planning
This planning guide, developed specifically for school-based mentoring programs, features strategies for securing funding and nonfinancial support from a variety of sources, such as government grants, foundations, individual giving campaigns, and special events. It also provides tips for organizing a planning team and mapping available resources, as well as a number of worksheets and planning tools that can help programs manage the often-complicated logistics of pursuing multiple funding streams. The appendices also provide advice on how to effectively involve a Board of Directors or Advisory Committee in resource development and references to additional reading and resources on program sustainability.

Play Well With Others: Leveraging Local Partnerships for Program Success (Case Study)
This case study examines how the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance program in California leverages partnerships to provide financial and other support for their services. Tips on forming and maintaining partnerships are included.

Why Don’t We Like To Change? Helping Organizations Chart a New Course for Future Success (Case Study)
This case study examines how a local mentoring program overcame leadership challenges and other barriers to success, illustrating why organizations can be resistant to change and how local mentoring programs can ensure that they do not become stagnant and ineffective in a constantly shifting landscape.

Making a Difference on a Shoestring Budget: Evergreen School Lunch Buddies Program (Case Study)
This case study explores the creative ways that one program in Washington state is diversifying their funding and building on program success.