Quality-Based Membership

Mass Mentoring Partnership’s (MMP) Quality-Based Membership initiative (QBM), launched in 2009, is a first-in-the-nation process created to promote high-quality best practices among Massachusetts youth mentoring programs. Now being replicated nationally, membership components are based on The Elements of Effective Practice. This free process acknowledges what programs are doing well. Membership:

  • Provides a meaningful “indicator of quality”
  • Benchmarks program practices against national standards of excellence
  • Demonstrates program commitment to excellence to potential mentors, funders, parents, and community partners

QBM also helps youth mentoring programs identify practice areas that could be improved. MMP provides support throughout the process to help programs achieve the highest level of membership, Partner. With all of our services and resources dedicated to programs in membership, we encourage Massachusetts mentoring programs to become members. As of October 2014, there are more than 250 member programs at the Affiliate, Associate Partner, or Partner member levels.

Benefits of Membership

Benefits vary depending on the level of membership, and may include eligibility for MMP grants, mentor referrals, discounts on registration for MMP trainings and workshops, priority for in-kind donations of admissions, tickets and match activities, a listing in MMP’s online program directory, and more.

Some benefits previously available to non-member programs in our database shifted exclusively to programs in membership. Benefit changes for programs include:

  • Mentor referrals – Programs must be at least an Affiliate Member in order to participate in mentor recruitment campaigns and receive mentor referrals.
  • Match activities – Programs must be at least an Affiliate in order to receive match activity tickets and special opportunities connected to match activity events. Associate Partners or Partner members may receive priority in some instances.
  • Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring – Programs must be at least an Affiliate in order to host an Ambassador of Mentoring.
  • MMP financial resources – For many of MMP’s financial resources, programs must be at least an Associate Partner in order to apply for key grants and resources. See our Financial and In-Kind Resources page for further details.

Levels of Membership

Mentoring programs can pursue three different levels of Quality-Based Membership:

  • Partner: Partner members are formal youth mentoring programs and organizations that have completed a program self-assessment to benchmark their program practices. Partners demonstrate adherence to designated standards, have completed all other requirements for membership and MMP support is completed.
  • Associate Partner: Associate Partner members are formal youth mentoring programs and organizations that have been in operation for at least one year. In addition, they are either in the process of conducting a program self-assessment, or have completed the self-assessment and are actively working to meet designated standards. MMP provides training and customized technical assistance to support programs throughout the process.
  • Affiliate: MMP's basic level. Affiliate members represent a broad range of program models, including those that are newly established within a larger non-profit agency or school, small and/or grassroots mentoring initiatives, or more formal programs that simply need an entry point for membership with MMP.

Check out the more than 200 Massachusetts programs and organizations in membership.

Membership process

MMP has made the membership process straightforward and easy to follow. Here are the three steps for getting started:

  1. Before you submit an application, preview it here or request a copy from MMP (see contact information below).
  2. Complete and submit the application online. All programs start with the application and check the affiliate level regardless of desired membership level.
  3. If you are eligible and are interested in working towards the highest level of membership, Partner, you will receive email instructions from MMP on the next steps, including completion of the self-assessment. Preview the self-assessment questionnaire.

For more information, please contact Beth Fraster, director of program services, at bfraster@massmentors.org or 617.695.2431.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start the process?

All programs start by completing the online membership application or ask for a hard copy from MMP staff.

Is there a cost?

Every level of membership is free. MMP’s services to help you through membership are free. Services may include program staff attending a regularly scheduled MMP training, materials to review, or one-on-one technical assistance with a MMP staff member.

What if I only want to be an Affiliate member?

Some programs may be eligible for Associate Partner level, but choose to remain as an Affiliate. The choice is yours and you can change your mind at any time.

What if I only want to be an Associate Partner?

Programs are not allowed to stay as an Associate member – this level is considered the stepping stone to becoming a Partner member and is only used for programs that are working on the self-assessment or work plan. There is a four-month limit to being an Associate Partner.

Are there any benefits available to an Associate Partner that are different than for Affiliates?

Yes, certain grants and match activities are only for Associate Partners and Partners.

What if I want to be a Partner?

Programs must complete the “road to membership” to become a Partner member.

  1. The first step is to complete the online application with the Associate Partner box checked.
  2. If MMP approves the application, a staff member will set up a meeting to review the self-assessment tool that is required for all programs who wish to become Partner members
  3. The program designee then begins to complete the self-assessment
  4. Once completed, MMP staff and the program designee meet to discuss the self-assessment and think through any work plan that will be required to satisfy the requirements of the self-assessment
  5. The entire process must be completed within four months from the start of the work on the self-assessment through the completion of a potential work plan as identified by MMP and the program designee
Does a program have to complete every question on the self-assessment before submitting it for review by MMP?

No, MMP prefers that programs only complete the questions that the program can provide documents for and questions which the program currently has practices, policies or procedures in place. The role of MMP is to guide the program through the questions that are left unanswered or answered questions that need strengthening in some way. The goal is to meet the standards of The Elements of Effective Practice and MMP as incorporated throughout the self-assessment.

What is a work plan?

A work plan is the document that MMP staff and the program designee agree to complete after the review of the self-assessment. The work plan articulates in detail action steps to be taken by both parties in order to meet the requirements of membership as well as the dates for completion. The work plan may include materials that MMP provides to the program to strengthen a program operation; or the requirement of a program staff member(s) to attend a regularly scheduled MMP training (for free); or documents, practices and or policies that are currently missing from the management or operation of the program.

What if I am turned down for membership?

If you are turned down for any level of membership, MMP staff will provide you with detailed information on what you need to do to become eligible.

What if I have questions about my program’s eligibility for any of the levels of membership?

Programs are encouraged to contact MMP staff for assistance. Questions are welcome! Support is available at each phase of membership.

For more information, contact Beth Fraster, director of program services, at bfraster@massmentors.org or 617.695.2431.