Get IN Chicago’s position as a funder, measurement entity, and thought leader has given us insight into pressing issues faced by the Chicago nonprofit landscape.  In particular, our findings have shaped our Five Key Learnings, which we use to guide our strategy and investment.

As we move forward, Get IN Chicago’s commitment to funding and measuring evidence-based programs continues to be linked to capacity building.  A portion of our funding thus far has supported technical assistance for our grant recipients, supporting them to use best practices with the goal of reaching more youth with the most effective programs.

One of our Technical Assistance grant recipients, Illinois Mentoring Partnership, recently shared some of their progress to date.  Keep reading to see what they’ve been up to, and check back soon for more updates from other technical assistance providers!

Illinois Mentoring Partnership
Grant Recipient – Technical Assistance

“Over the past few months, the Illinois Mentoring Partnership (IMP) facilitated five Get IN Chicago mentor trainings and one Professional Learning Community (PLC) meeting for Get IN Chicago mentoring supervisors and directors. Mentor training topics included School Based Mentoring: Partnering With Schools to Help Our Youth and Stages of Mentoring Relationships Where to Begin, Where to End & What Happens in the Middle. Each training topic was offered twice to ensure all mentors would have an opportunity to attend.

“In January, the cohort participated in a training hosted by Lurie Children’s Hospital on trauma and how mentors can best support youth. The December PLC meeting topic was Creating Best Practice Mentoring Programs: Needs Assessments, Work Plans & More. All mentor trainings and the PLC meeting benefited from 100% attendance and participation.

IMP breakfast grantees

Representatives from GIC mentoring programs attended IMP’s IMPACT Awards breakfast with members of the GIC team

“IMP also successfully completed needs assessments and work plans with all seven of the mentoring programs. Both the assessments and the work plans are based on The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, which are research- informed and practitioner-approved best practices for creating and sustaining impactful mentoring relationships and strong program services.

“During the sessions and workshops, staff from each organization were extremely open and forthright about their mentoring programs in terms of both successes and challenges. Participants were also willing to explore techniques and strategies that could potentially strengthen their programs, most notably in the areas of mentee recruitment and screening and monitoring and supporting matches.

mentoring kickoff

“Over the next few months, we will engage more with our Google group platform, which all participants agree can be a great resource for sharing information.  We will hold smaller, targeted group mentor training sessions to will allow participants to “dig deeper” and explore how other programs operate.  Finally, IMP will conduct site visits at the schools to see the mentors “in action” with the mentees to better understand the dynamics of the programs and facilitate some mentee trainings to help the students learn what it means to have a mentor and how to best leverage the opportunity they have been afforded.”

Illinois Mentoring Partnership is currently using a Get IN Chicago grant to provide technical assistance to mentoring programs and staff at seven organizations. In particular, IMP provides guidance about mentoring best practices to strengthen each organization’s programming and impact. They also organize learning communities to foster ideas, collaboration, and networking among mentoring organizations in the city.