MENTOR’s Corporate and Philanthropic Exchange at the National Mentoring Summit in January offers an intimate forum for the country’s top mentoring investors and their counterparts in business, government and philanthropy to engage in meaningful and relevant dialog, peer to peer networking and invaluable idea exchanges aimed at accelerating solutions to close the mentoring gap in our country.
EY and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) together released a report “Mentoring: at the crossroads of education, business and community.” The report examines how top US businesses collaborate with the public and non-profit sectors to connect youth in their communities to transformative mentoring relationships and the value gained by the business and its employees. According to MENTOR’s report, The Mentoring Effect, youth with mentors are more likely to be successful in school, leaders in their communities, and to enter young adulthood with opportunities for ongoing education and career choices. And yet, 16 million American young people—one in three—will reach the age of 19 without having had a mentor of any kind. The joint report examines the private sector role in addressing this mentoring gap and provides effective practices and case studies from local businesses and Fortune 500 companies.
The report’s call to action for companies to increase efforts to support youth mentoring is reinforced by key benefits that engagement in youth mentoring provides for participating companies.
The report offers the following best practices for businesses looking to start a mentoring effort or enhance the results of an existing program, including examples from the companies interviewed.
In order to have a successful mentoring program, businesses should consider how potential programs would fit with their broader corporate mission, as well as their values and capabilities.
By establishing relationships with non-profit experts or educational institutions, your program will benefit from your partners’ experience, robust systems, processes and standards, investment in talent development, and materials and methodologies.
Employers must realize that mentoring happens in many different ways, and that flexibility is key to encourage, facilitate and support participation. Employers should clearly illustrate which mentoring options are available to employees – short- or long-term, online or in-person, at the worksite or a school – and work with their non-profit partner to provide training, a curriculum, relationship tools, and ongoing support. All 18 organizations interviewed by EY and MENTOR allow employees to volunteer during working hours.
Corporate funders and partners are uniquely positioned to bring together programs to exchange best practices, explore partnership opportunities or share data. Those with technology platforms can build online environments where practitioners can share case studies and advice. The private sector can also invest in intermediaries that help scale effective programming and provide professional development and mentor training.
The private sector is well-positioned to foster broad demand for quality programs that follow evidence-based standards. Companies can support two national efforts to advance rigor in practice, including the supplements to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, which provide research-informed Standards for creating and sustaining specific program models or serving specific youth populations, as well as the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS), which provides a structured, systematic process for evaluating how effectively mentoring programs are implemented.National Mentoring Resource Center National Quality Mentoring System
Eighteen companies participated in the interview process. These companies represent a broad range of industries, including the financial and professional services sectors, technology, entertainment, manufacturing, communications, health care, retail and hospitality. In addition, more than a dozen mentoring programs and youth-serving organizations were interviewed, as were MENTOR’s affiliate Mentoring Partnerships.The following are the 18 companies that were chosen based their existing engagement in youth mentoring, which is representative of the diverse range of approaches the private-sector is taking:
Bank of America
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Coastway Community Bank
The Ritz Carlton