Start A Program

How can you get involved?

Whether you are exploring the idea of starting a program, conducting a needs-assessment for a mentoring program in your community or in the process of establishing a program, the following steps can help you find the resources and tools that you need to develop and implement a quality-based mentoring program.

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Step One:

Investigate the need for a new program in your community

Before undertaking all of the steps required to build a quality mentoring program from scratch, we encourage you to investigate the prevalence of mentoring already happening in your community. There’s a good chance that there is already an organization or service provider offering the type of programming you are considering. You might also find key allies to partner with that are serving the population of youth who you want to mentor or that are addressing the same needs you are targeting. The Mentoring Connector tool can help you identify what services are already being offered, and by whom, in your community. If you determine that there is a need for new mentoring services in the community, the remaining steps below can help you build a strong program.

Mentoring Connector

Step Two:

Find out if there is a Mentoring Partnership in your area

MENTOR’s affiliate Mentoring Partnerships are the leading state and local catalysts for mentoring. They work collaboratively to mobilize their communities to action by equipping program managers, training mentors, galvanizing leadership and promoting our national quality standards. Our Mentoring Partnerships stand ready to assist you with training and technical assistance as you work toward starting or strengthening your mentoring program.

View Partnerships


Step Three:

Review MENTOR’s Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ and Companion Toolkit

The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ Fourth Edition, provides quality- and evidence-based standards that include the latest research and practice wisdom to help mentoring programs ensure safety, effectiveness and sustainability. Structuring your mentoring program to adhere to the Elements will greatly increase your ability to ensure that the young people served by your program experience positive outcomes as a result of being mentored. In addition, the companion toolkit to the Elements, How to Build a Successful Mentoring Program Using the Elements of Effective Practice includes tools, templates and advice for implementing and adhering to the Elements.

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Step Four:

Register Your Program in MENTOR’s Mentoring Connector

After your program is established, register it in the Mentoring Connector to help you recruit more mentors and increase visibility for your organization. Thousands of prospective mentors visit our site each month to find mentoring opportunities in their community. Further, MENTOR works with many partners to promote mentoring opportunities in their volunteer databases, and registering your program with MENTOR will ensure that your mentoring opportunities are available to those who want to get involved as a result of various promotions and campaigns.

Mentoring Connector


Every kid should have someone to turn to. Join the movement, Mentor In Real Life!