Why should your program look for match activities?

By Ed Momplaisir, Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring 2012-13, Mass Mentoring Partnership

[caption id="attachment_1263" align="alignright" width="300"]Ed at Mentoring Night at Fenway Park, one of the activities he helped coordinate. With him are MMP Director of Development & Partnerships Vanessa Plant and Director of Marketing & Public Awareness Rich Greif Ed at Mentoring Night at Fenway Park, one of the activities he helped coordinate. With him are MMP Director of Development & Partnerships Vanessa Plant and Director of Marketing & Public Awareness Rich Greif[/caption]

This past year, Mass Mentoring Partnership solicited and distributed more than $280,000 worth of match activity opportunities to dozens of mentoring programs across the state, who in turn shared them with hundreds of their matches. These in-kind donations ranged from theater and museum passes to concert and sports tickets, and were generously donated through partnerships with funders, sponsors, and sports teams.

These opportunities help create incredible experiences for matches who aren't often able to visit a museum or attend a baseball game on their own and solidify the bond between mentor and mentee.

Match activities not only benefit mentors and mentees, but can be an asset to mentoring programs, as well. Soliciting in-kind donations can be a great way for programs to foster relationships with external organizations. A few tickets donated from an athletic team can turn into a mentoring night at an arena. A couple of concert tickets from funders can grow into a pre-show sponsored event for dozens of matches.

When programs look for these relationships and opportunities, they increase their capacity not only by offering memorable experiences for matches, but generating the additional support of funders, sponsors, and other external organizations.