Girls Group Mentoring Toolkit

This Girls Group Mentoring Toolkit provides the tools, resources and support to create, implement, deliver and evaluate a quality group mentoring program for girls, ages 9-13, in your community. The Toolkit is intended to be used in a range of communities, and can be adapted to the unique values, needs, strengths and challenges that each community encompasses.

Assessment of Strengths, Needs & Collaborations

Fostering Effective and Engaged Partnerships

Starting a new program in your community is a major undertaking, but luckily it can be supported by fostering strong partnerships with other agencies. By following the steps suggested in the Tool to Assess Strengths, Needs & Collaborations section you can begin to think about who you can approach and how you can work together. However, the partnership can extend beyond this initial exchange. Once you have engaged partners within the community, continue fostering these relationships and creating space for ongoing engagement. The more dedicated your partners are, the stronger and more sustainable their support will likely be.

Some community partners will not want to extend their involvement beyond offering space, providing referrals or other supports. However, space for partners that do wish to have a stronger connection with the program should be created.

Begin by asking the partners how they would like to be involved and gauge the level with which they are looking to be connected. Be sure from the outset to manage their expectations and be clear that some limitations will exist and certain boundaries will preserve the safe space created in the program. Then meet with your team and develop a few opportunities for them to select from.

Some engagement opportunities that programs have created for partners in the past include:

  • Invitations for partners to sit on an advisory committee or steering group.
  • If the community partner can offer a relevant training opportunity, you may invite them to present to the mentors or girls. 
  • Providing recognition for partners by using their logo or name on promotional materials or highlighting their role in a media piece.
  • Creation of a volunteer or collaborative role for partners when gathering in large groups or when hosting an event or outing within the mentoring program.
When engaging new partners, remember to not only emphasize the value to the community or girls but also the value the partner organization will receive in their involvement in the program. A partnership can be a mutually-beneficial relationship that will have positive impacts for both organizations as well as the community at large.

Contact: mentoringgirls(at)canadianwomen.org