Mass Mentoring Counts (MMC) is a biennial statewide youth mentoring survey in Massachusetts, conducted for MMP by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts, which reveals mentoring trends, gaps and program practices. In preparation for the release of the 2012 MMC survey to programs, we asked some programs to share how past MMC surveys have been helpful. Today's guest post is from Wendy Foster, President & CEO at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay (BBBSMB). Mass Mentoring Counts has been an invaluable source of information for our agency, helping us to “build our case” for funding and as a planning tool. In 2010, BBBSMB engaged in a strategic planning process and took a fresh look at our entire program of service. Mass Mentoring Counts helped us to better understand how mentoring was impacting children in our service area - how many children were being mentored, what kind of mentoring services they were receiving, and where these programs were located. This information enabled us to identify opportunities to increase our impact and serve more children in communities with unmet youth development needs. Our current five-year plan relies heavily on information gained from Mass Mentoring Counts, in combination with reports from other key sources (like the US Census), and our own internal data. It’s now almost impossible to imagine what our funding proposals might look like without the influence of Mass Mentoring Counts. We cite countless statistics from the report – youth demographics, the proportion of boys versus girls being served, the number of children engaged in one-to-one mentoring friendships, and many more. Mass Mentoring Counts gives us the “big picture” and also helps us to communicate the subtle nuances of our service area.