U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Recruiting Mentors: A Guide to Finding Volunteers to Work With Youth

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2001
50 pages
Drawing on effective practices used by volunteer-based organizations and on research findings about mentoring, this manual describes recruitment strategies that programs can adapt to meet their particular circumstances.
The first section outlines key steps in developing and implementing any targeted mentor recruitment plan. The following two basic principles apply to all mentor recruitment efforts: maintain broad name recognition for the program in the community and then target recruitment; and create a written plan. The written plan should contain goals, a time line of scheduled activities, the name of the person responsible for each item in the time line, and a budget. In presenting guidelines for the development of a recruitment plan, suggestions are to identify characteristics of the program that could positively or negatively impact the recruitment of particular groups of mentors; identify the groups that are most likely to respond to recruitment efforts; draw up a list of requirements and preference for mentors; identify factors that could motivate people to volunteer for the program; write a mentor job description; create the recruitment message and materials; use a range of strategies to present the message to the community; and forge linkages with organizations that can help the program gain credibility and gain access to groups targeted for recruitment. Other sections of the manual suggest specific approaches for recruiting two large groups of potential mentors: college students and older adults. The manual concludes by listing some important next steps after recruitment. Materials include a checklist and worksheets to help guide planning, a list of additional resources, and appended sample forms and useful readings.

Date Published: February 1, 2001