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

Tool to Assess Strengths, Needs & Collaborations

This tool includes questions and considerations regarding the strengths, needs, potential collaborations and champions both internally (within your organization/group) and externally (within your community and city/town/region). Many communities would benefit from a girls group mentoring program, however it is important to first establish whether there is a need for it and what assets are present to support the program.

The following chart evaluates the strengths, assets, needs and potential opportunities for collaboration in your organization, community and city/town/region. Using the examples and questions in the table below, complete your own internal & external assessment. Brainstorm a list of strengths, needs and potential collaborations present in your organization/group, community, and city/town/region:

Your Organization/Group Your Community Your City/Town/Region
Strengths & Assets

Some examples of organizational or group strengths and assets that contribute to successful programming:

  • Knowledgeable and experienced staff in the area of programming for girls or mentoring
  • Networks of organizations that can link you to potential mentors
  • Networks of organizations that can link you to girls that are the target participants of your mentoring program
  • Experience in group programming for youth
  • Some examples of community strengths and assets:

  • There is a strong feeling of community and of helping one another
  • There is a community of volunteers with experience in supporting girls (e.g. sports, arts, or other recreation activities).
  • Mentoring is encouraged as an important skill in the high school curriculum; this is a potential pool of female mentors
  • Mentoring is regarded as a valuable cultural practice with many benefits for the wellbeing of the community
  • Some examples of strengths and assets in your city/town/region:

  • Government funding available for non-profit programs for children and youth and government investment for mentoring initiatives.
  • Already established youth serving or mentoring-specific networks
  • Canada’s nonprofit and voluntary sector is the 2nd largest in the world (Imagine Canada)
  • Over 13 million people in Canada volunteer for charities and non-profits (Imagine Canada).
  • Needs

    List the structures and processes you need to put into place. For example:

  • Policies and procedures for the program
  • Staffing, including recruitment, supervision and training of staff
  • Mentor recruitment processes, as well as mentor training and supports
  • Program evaluation
  • What do you require from outside of your organization/group? For example:

  • Connections with other youth-serving organizations and schools to access participants
  • Meeting space
  • Donations or access to equipment and supplies
  • Transportation to mentoring activities
  • Determine whether there is a community need by reflecting on some of the following questions:

  • Is there a gap in services, or are there girls not being served by other programs?
  • Are there any similar programs in operation?
  • Would this program duplicate any existing services? If yes, what will an additional program add to the community?
  • How will the community benefit from the program?
  • Assess the broader sector and reflect on the following:

  • Are any similar programs in operation? If so, what gap will your program address?
  • How will your city/town/region benefit from the program?
  • Potential Collaborations

    With whom could you consider collaborating to address the needs that your organization/group can’t meet alone?

    Are there existing programs within your organization that you can work with to recruit mentors? (For example: youth advisory council, teen program, women’s program)

    Are there other youth or girls programs that you can consult with to inform your processes around engaging girls and maintaining girl-directed mentoring programming?

    Consider which community members, organizations, schools, universities and institutions you could connect and collaborate with to aid in a successful program. Questions to consider include:

  • Are there community groups, agencies, or individuals that you could collaborate or partner with in creating, facilitating and supporting a program?
  • What other organizations, community groups, services and schools are working with these girls that can help to recruit and retain program participants?
  • Is there a safe, clean, and dependable program site available?
  • What informal structures are present in your community that could support and strengthen this program?
  • What sources of knowledge can you tap into to inform better program practice and development? (for example: focus groups of girls, Elders, community leaders)
  • Are there opportunities to share resources or partner with other organizations, government ministries, or businesses that have similar mandates? For example:

  • Other family serving organizations
  • Other youth serving organizations
  • Other community organizations with an interest in the population of girls you are serving (e.g. 4-H)
  • Other community organizations with an interest in the success of young girls (e.g. Junior League)?
  • Who can you engage to be a champion for your program
  • Local leaders? (e.g. school principals, faith-based leaders, politicians, social workers, coaches)
  • Local businesses?
  • Local media?
  • Local community or service groups (e.g. Rotary Club)?
  • How can the Alberta Mentoring Partnership and the Canadian Women’s Foundation help strengthen your work (support, tools, consultation, etc.)?


    Contact: mentoringgirls(at)canadianwomen.org