In our roles, recruiting mentors is a key piece of having successful mentoring matches. One of our greatest challenges is recruiting male mentors. The number of requests we receive for male role models is far greater than the number of mentor applicants. About a year ago, we identified that recruiting male mentors was something we wanted to pursue in a way that involved a grassroots effort. We sought and received funds from the Allamakee, Delaware, Howard, and Winneshiek County Community Foundations to put towards this effort. This process began with hosting focus groups of male participants. The men shared many helpful insights.
As a result of male focus group discussion, they suggested we not only share more success stories of the youth in the program but also of the volunteers who are friends for our youth. When men see that mentors have made an impact in the program, that encourages them to volunteer. They liked the idea of teaming up with someone else, such as a spouse or a friend, to mentor a youth.
We are creating a short video featuring males talking about their mentoring experience. The video will share match stories, the impact on both the mentor and mentee, and will inspire people, particularly men, to begin mentoring. The plan is to show the video to churches, civic groups, businesses, and at school functions to expand the awareness of need for male mentors.
A media blitz will take place this fall to include: Facebook, radio, and newspaper ads featuring our new tagline “Be a Friend. Support | Rewarding | Impact”.
The focus group attendees said advertising is great, but they all agreed that asking individual men to become mentors is the most effective strategy to recruit male mentors. One-on-one visits will be taking place to ask them to step-up and be a male influence for a boy in the area. These visits will take place in the next six months.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor we would love to hear from you! There are youth in need that will benefit from a friend like yourself. To learn more, please visit our page on the Helping Services website.