California Group Promotes Mentoring Through Book, Expanded Website

Strategic planning and infrastructure development for the California Mentor Foundation

The California Mentor Foundation worked to hire additional staff and build its communications and research capabilities.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 to provide resources and technical assistance to local mentoring organizations and to promote and advocate for mentoring.

Research shows that a positive relationship with an adult mentor can steer a young person away from drugs, violence and gang membership, dropping out of school and teen pregnancy, according to data published by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (April 2000).

Although many local agencies throughout the country match adults with adolescents in mentoring relationships, there are few statewide, comprehensive approaches that link government and private support.

Key Results

The California Mentor Foundation:

  • Produced a book, Mentoring Works, with funding from RWJF and the Koret Foundation. The book includes a collection of essays on mentoring by experts in the field. It focuses on best practices in mentoring. (Ordering information available online.)
  • Expanded its Web site. The site includes a search tool that allows California residents to find local mentoring programs in their area. The site also includes background information and research on mentoring.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $400,000 from October 2000 to September 2003 to support this project.

Other foundations and corporations also provided support during this period, most by donating services. (See the Appendix for a list of these supporters.)

After the Grant
The California Mentor Foundation continued to build support for mentoring in the private sector, and to advocate on behalf of mentoring in the state capital. One new focus was "cause marketing," enlisting private companies to brand their products with mentoring information and donate part of their sales to the foundation.