Investigation Of Earned Income Strategies

Investigation of Earned Income Strategies

This entire wiki is intended to be one planning and problem solving process, where many owners work in different projects to generate revenue and innovate programs and services that continue the mission started by the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago in 1992. This page titled "Investigation of Earned Income Strategies" may not be necessary as the wiki continues to develop.

Consider the potential of appealing to volunteers by showing how they learn "problem solving" and "network building" skills via the Tutor/Mentor Institute process. Consider creating an on-line training program to teach this to paying students.


For the last 18 years, The Tutor/Mentor Connection has been building a library of resources on youth tutoring and mentoring programs around Chicagoland and beyond. We are constantly gathering new information about who is offering youth tutoring/mentoring program around the city, where they are geographically and what exact services they offer.

We also have been bringing together hundreds of leaders in youth tutoring/mentoring twice a year for the last 15 years to share best practices, foster collaboration between programs and draw more media and resources to all of our programs, instead of just a small handful of high profile national organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club.

We have begun to implement a comprehensive eLearning and technology strategy which includes the utilization of GIS mapping technology to map the city of Chicago guided by an asset-based community mapping approach. We have also developed an organizational history and tracking system to record progress made by the Tutor/Mentor Connection (OHATS), which permits us to easily generate reports, as well as a Student and Volunteer History and Tracking System (SVHATS) and web portal so we can easily provide support to our mentor/mentee pairs and other volunteers.

Therefore, as you can see, we have accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise in the realm of youth tutoring/mentoring, which we share freely with other programs and anyone else who could potentially benefit. However, because we have such expertise in this area, we are contemplating the idea of developing an earned income strategy where we can serve as consultants to city governments, schools, foundations, or other bodies with the resources to buy services from us.

We could also potentially sell licenses for our OHATS and SVHATS systems, our GIS maps, and possibly some of our web technologies such as our tutor/mentor program locator to organizations who could benefit.

Knowledge Management and Innovation - using ideas and experiences of others to innovate new solutions to old problems
T/MC has created a library of articles on the subject of creativity, innovation, knowledge management, collaboration, etc. For instance, this Knowledge Management Resource Center has articles on a wide range of knowledge management topics. This Theory of Inventive Problem Solving site host ideas the T/MC has applied since its creation in 1993. Thus, before anyone begins to offer solutions to a problem, they need to do their homework to understand the problem, the organization they are working with and its history and resources, and the ways other people have solved the same problem in different places. This leads to a "What if" process. These operating principles are shared in an essay on the Tutor/Mentor Institute site, and are the guiding principles for volunteer and staff involvement in Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. These knowledge management resources and operating principles can be applied to any problem and solution at any time in a person's life. We hope that those working with us on innovating earned income and revenue generating strategies will find them useful.

Use of this wiki for brainstorming and investigation of earned income strategies
Over the past 30 years Dan Bassill, CEO and founder, has generated hundreds of ideas of ways to make tutoring/mentoring programs more effective, and more available. Many are shared in the Tutor/Mentor Institute. Many more are on scrap paper in Dan's file cabinets. Some are in his mind. Many are lost.

The power of a wiki and the Internet is that Dan can share his ideas with people from all over the world, and with the volunteers, leaders and students of Cabrini Connections, if he posts them on line. He's been doing that for the past several years.

Now, with the addition of interactive forums, other people can also post their own ideas in the same space, and the list of ideas can grow, representing the thinking of everyone who wants to help kids born in poverty be starting jobs and careers by their middle 20s.

In this part of the wiki, we want to build a list of ideas that represent ways to raise money to fund the work of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, Tutor/Mentor Connection on a more consistent and flexible basis. We want to reduce our dependence on charity, and decisions other people make, and increase our own control over our future, by how we innovate new streams of revenue.

Use the Ning site to post and discuss ideas. http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com/group/networkwithtutormentorconnection

List of crowdfunding sites that we might emulate - https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&key=0AiJ9wl9qbZEzdFd6WUVSV1FiSEFCSm1LeF81UjVxTnc&output=html

That's your goal. Build and idea list. Then help find volunteers and donors who will help us turn good ideas into revenue producing actions.

1) create a membership/subscription program for Tutor/Mentor Connection. Invite site visitors to subscribe at various levels. Karina Walker is working on this idea.

2) find sponsors for the Business School Connection idea. If we can get teams at three or more business schools competing to see which can raise the most money for tutor/mentor programs we can generate visibility, draw dollars to us and programs in Chicago, charge sponsor fees, and charge entry fees.

3) build a library of ideas - point to pages like this Peerfunding wiki that is an extensive list of potential funding sources

The link above points to a section in the Discussion forums on the T/MC site where I've posted discussion and ideas related to this topic for many years. There is a wiki created by a University of Chicago volunteer several years ago that can be the starting point for anyone working to develop this idea.

3) find sponsors to launch a visualization competition, where teams from different colleges and high schools take T/MC ideas and re-interpret them to flash, video, and other forms of presentation. See discussion on Ning site.

4) find sponsor to create books, videos, movies and edu-tainment that we can create and distribute via the Internet and cable tv. Sara Caldwell was working on this in 1995-97.

5) find sponsors/donors to raise T/MC in Chicago to the funding level of mentoring partnerships in other cities/states. According to National Mentoring Partnership the starting level of funding should be $300,000 a year. According to this survey, partnership funding ranges from $200,000 to $1.5 million, with T/MC the lowest.

Add your own ideas. Use the T/MC ning site and other forums to flesh these out and find ways to implement them. Follow this advise.

Back to Fund Raising work page: click here