03: Finding resources

This module is closely linked to Module 2 – Choosing a mentoring approach, Module 4 – Building a program team and Module 5 – Planning the mentoring program. You may find you need to move between these modules multiple times to gather the information you need to make decisions.

Resources include both financial resources – money to pay for the things you need to run your program – and also “in-kind” resources, such as physical items or human resources and skills, that can be donated at no cost. This module takes you through the process of identifying what resources you will need, and how to find them.

After reading this section you should:

● know what resources your mentoring program will need

● know where to find in-kind and financial resources

● be able to make a case for support

● be able to draft a budget for your mentoring program.

Key questions to ask yourself

  1. What mentoring approach did you choose?

  2. What resources might you need for this mentoring approach?

  3. Which of those resources do you need to find funding to pay for, and which might be possible to have donated?

  4. Who in your networks might be able to donate some of those resources?

  5. What grants or corporate sponsorship could you apply for?

  6. Are your potential partners/funders aligned with your values and interested to achieve the same/similar goals as you?

3.1 Different resources for different mentoring approaches

Different mentoring approaches require different resources. A face-to-face program needs physical resources such as a training venue, printed materials, and accommodation for trainees, while an online mentoring program may need to pay website hosting or online tool subscription costs.

Programs will also need different resources at different times. For example, you may need a lot of resources in order to start and finish the program but less resources in the middle of the program.

To determine what resources you might need for your mentoring approach, please find your chosen approach in our resource filter tool to see what resources we suggest you consider. You may wish to come back to this tool once you have worked through Module 5 – Planning the mentoring program. The cost of each resource will vary greatly depending on your situation. We have included a rough costing guide based on previous program costs. We recommend doing some research in order to cost resources appropriately to your situation.

3.2 Who has what you need? Finding “in-kind” resources

It can be hard to find funding for mentoring programs. But don’t despair – we often have a lot of resources in our communities that we can tap into with some goodwill, planning, and persistence.

Now that you have a resource list, think about what resources could be donated by people and/or organisations in your network. For example, your local school may be happy to provide a training space for free. Or you may find an organisation that specialises in mentoring and coaching and can provide a staff member to help you with your program. These sorts of resources, often referred to as “in-kind” resources, can be provided by partners or supporters without any cost involved.

It’s always worth asking for such support because it keeps the program running costs low and also helps develop partnerships in the community.

Take a look at the resource filter tool again and see our suggestions for finding resources in your community. We encourage you to think creatively!

3.3 Who has what you need? Finding financial resources

Some resources, such as travel bursaries or subscription costs, will require you to find funding.

Options for funding include:

● government grants

● business sponsorship

● university/education-related bursaries

● donations from the community.

You can find funding opportunities on websites, like YPARD’s funding opportunities section or Terra Viva grants.

3.4 What can you offer? Preparing a case for support

Whether you are applying for a grant or pitching to a business for sponsorship, you will need to prepare a strong case for support, explaining what the program is and why it is important.

Before you start writing a case for support, do your research. Find out what the funder is looking for or interested in. Sometimes the application for funding will tell you, other times you might need to talk to the funder and ask them. Many organisations also have a stated mission and list of values – see if you can find these on their website.

Once you’ve determined what the funder is interested in, ask yourself: Are we interested in the same things? Can I give them what they are looking for? If the answer to these questions is yes, then it’s a good idea to proceed with submitting your case for support to them. If your answer is no, then we recommend you see if you can find another funder who is a better match for your case for support. We often don’t take the time to do this and end up spending too much time working on proposals that are not well matched to funder interests. It’s important that you do not compromise on what you set out to achieve.

We’ve prepared a proposal template that will help you determine what to put in your proposal. You may find it easier to do this activity after completing Module 5 – Planning the mentoring program.

3.5 What can you offer? Negotiating with partners

Any partner, whether they are giving you money or donating something for free, will likely want something in exchange. Most often this is brand recognition or a time to speak at your mentoring workshop.

Be very clear about what you’re prepared to negotiate, and make sure what you give feels of similar ‘value’ to what they are offering in exchange. For example, if a school offers you a free venue, perhaps having someone from the school do a 5-minute welcome talk at the beginning of the workshop could be a nice exchange. But having them speak for 2 hours may not feel like a fair exchange to you. So be clear with what you are offering and the limitations of that offer.

To help you determine what you can offer, the limits on your offer, and what you are not prepared to offer, take a look at this blog by expert negotiator Chris Voss.

3.6 When to approach funders

In an ideal world you would decide on a mentoring approach, recruit your team, design the mentoring program of your dreams and then pitch that to funders/partners, and they would give you all the resources you need.

Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work that way. You have to be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to talk to the right people at the right time. You may get some initial resources to start the program but not to do the maintenance and closing activities. In this case, think of how you can use opportunities such as a networking cocktail party at the end of the mentoring orientation workshop (see Module 10 – Building the mentoring relationship) as a way to invite funders to hear the stories of mentees and mentors.

The best way to attract partners/funders is to inspire them, and there’s nothing more inspiring than the visions and stories of transformation of mentees and mentors.

3.7 Keeping track of spending

If you are lucky enough to receive financial support for your mentoring program, it’s important you keep good track of what you are spending so that you don’t spend more than you have. When making payments, make sure you are issued a receipt and that you file these receipts either in a folder or digitally (by taking a photo of the receipt and keeping it in a Google Drive folder).

We recommend someone from your mentoring program team set aside one day per month to calculate total spending for the month. This will help the program to keep track of what you have spent and what money you have left. You may wish to use the financial report template to keep track of spending.

3.8 Financial reporting

It’s important that, at the conclusion of the program, you report how the money you were given has been spent. Not only will this show the funders that you are trustworthy, but it is also good financial practice and will prevent you from being accused of misappropriating funds.

Financial reports don’t need to be complicated; they can simply include the amount you estimated, the amount you actually spent, and the difference between those two amounts (called the variance). See the financial report link for an example and template financial report.

You may also wish to estimate the value of in-kind support given to the program, such as venue hire or hours contributed by volunteers. This shows the real cost of running the program. You can see an example of this in the financial and in-kind report for event-based program.

Take action!

Take a look at the resources below and:

  • do a resources stocktake, using the resource filter as information

  • write a proposal/case for support for your mentoring program

  • make a budget for your mentoring program

  • determine your offer to partners and its limits

  • determine when you might find opportunities to inspire partners and funders

Resources

Stories

Dinesh, YPARD Nepal Country Representative, sharing his experience of finding in-kind support for an online mentoring program for YPARD Nepal members

Dorothy, Deputy Director of AWARD, sharing her extensive knowledge and experiences of finding and applying for funding

Sarah, Australian Future Foresters Initiative, talking about using an industry conference mentoring program as an opportunity to access funding from an industry youth leadership grant.

Bill, YPARD Global advisory group, talking about finding a values match with a partner and negotiating what you need.