Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December brings fun events to help out at-risk youth!

One of the things that I always stress in the three volunteer recruitment panel discussions that I've had at the last three conferences is that you need to make the tutoring and mentoring experience fun. It's one thing to be able to attract volunteers, but it's another to keep volunteers coming back year after year. Volunteering as a tutor and/or mentor can be one of the most fun and rewarding things you can do. (Read Chris's blog by the way, for a great story about one of our volunteers, Joe Alvorsen, who I think exemplifies what a great opportunity being a volunteer tutor/mentor can be). However, it can also be tough when despite all your efforts, your student is not wanting to pay attention, make an effort, or even show up. That's why it's always a good idea to have events where volunteers can get together and have fun.

It's an even better thing when you can make fun events like bar nights into fundraisers like we had back in October with Martini Madness or in April with the bar night at Schuba's. And even better yet, is when a volunteer will take the initiative and organize the fundraiser on their own volition. That's what John Knight, a first year volunteer tutor/mentor has set up a bar night this Friday, December 5th at Krem, which is at 1750 N. Clark St., on the corner of Clark and Lincoln.

As the Tutor/Mentor Connection Research and Networking Coordinator, I love to share best business practice ideas with other programs who ask for help. Often they have to do with how to train volunteers, recruit kids, and evaluate success. But, I've also heard from a lot of programs who are wanting to know about fundraising ideas. What has been working out pretty well for us is encouraging our own volunteers to help us fundraise. In helping out other programs, I often encourage them to make the volunteer tutoring and mentoring experience a fun one. But, I now will especially encourage programs to encourage their own volunteers to help fundraise and organize events such as the one we're having this Friday.

So, if you're interested in having fun and having the money you will probably spend otherwise on drinks go to a good cause, come to Krem, this Friday, December 5th from 8-10:30pm, 1750 N. Clark St. Admission is $35 for all you can drink or eat .

Details soon about our benefit concert, next week at Schuba's.

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