Quality Matters


One of the greatest challenges for mentoring programs is recruiting mentors.  The only national database of mentoring programs, The Mentoring Connector is a free service for programs meeting baseline quality standards as outlined in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ that helps recruit more local volunteers while providing a high value visibility opportunity. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can search for mentoring opportunities by zip code, ages of youth served, and program type to find and contact programs that interest them. Each year, potential volunteers looking for mentoring opportunities do more than 80,000 searches in this system. 

To submit your program: 

  • Click the button below
  • Click the Add a New Program button below the login fields (do not enter your email address or a password)  
  • When the system asks “Do you already have Program Administrator login credentials?,” say No.  
  • Enter requested info on your mentoring program. 
  • Remember that what you enter in the Program Description and Mentor Description fields will be visible to anyone searching for programs through the system, so use clear and informative language.  
  • Click Submit when finished.    


Elements 4th Edition


Contact our Mentoring Connector manager directly at connector@mentoring.org with any questions.

Elements of Effective Practice (4th edition)

The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring Fourth Edition (Elements), provides quality- and evidence-based standards that include the latest research and practice wisdom to help mentoring programs ensure safety, effectiveness and sustainability.  Structuring your mentoring program to adhere to the Elements will greatly increase your ability to ensure that the young people served by your program experience positive outcomes as a result of being mentored.

Recruitment focuses on recruiting appropriate mentors and mentees, by realistically describing the program’s objectives and expected outcomes. Recruitment strategies should build positive attitudes and emotions about mentoring, and target mentors and mentees whose skills, backgrounds, and needs best match the goals and structure of the program.

Screening focuses on screening prospective mentors to determine whether they have the time, commitment, and personal qualities to be a safe and effective mentor; and screening prospective mentees to determine if they have the time, commitment, and desire to be effectively mentored. Screening emphasizes keeping participants, especially young people, safe in mentoring relationships.

Training is essential to the success of a mentoring program. Training focuses on ensuring that prospective mentors, mentees, and their parents or guardians have the basic knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to build a safe and effective relationship. Training of mentors, particularly, has documented implications for the length of match relationship as well as both parties’ perceptions of the quality of the relationship.

Matching helps create appropriate mentoring relationships by using strategies most likely to increase the odds that the relationship will be safe and effective. Matching should consider individual characteristics about the mentor and mentee in order to foster an enduring relationship. Initiating is the step that formally establishes the mentoring relationship.

Monitoring and support is critical to mentoring not only to create satisfying and successful relationships, but also to adjust to changing needs of the mentee and mentor, and to ensure safety. Support ensures ongoing advice, problem-solving, training, and access to resources for the duration of a mentoring relationship.

Bringing a mentoring relationship to closure in a way that affirms the contributions of both the mentor and the mentee is essential to ensuring the relationship ends with positive consequences for the mentee. Closure is a normal stage in a mentoring relationship and mentors and mentees should be able to prepare for closure and assess their experience with the relationship.

Elements 4th Edition  Elements 4th Edition Checklist