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The Training Page of Volunteer Today has practical trainer techniques and activities to make orientation sessions more productive and valuable. There are also ideas to help enhance the professional volunteer manager's training level.

~ August 2006 ~ Topics

Volunteer Mentor Training

Volunteer Mentor Training

More people are signing up to be mentors for children. These volunteers need to begin this experience with a thorough analysis of what they bring to the mentoring partnership. This group activity can help mentors assess their current skills and plan for improvement with some help from other mentors.

Focus on Mentor Skills


  • To describe personal strengths and weaknesses as a mentor.
  • To identify other mentors with similar and/or different strengths and weaknesses.
  • Set goals for improvement.


  • Builds trust
  • Goal setting
  • Networking
  • Learning the role of the mentor
  • Understanding expectations

Training Activity (Time: One hour)

1. Introduction

2. Writing

3. Small Group Discussion

4. Large Group Debrief

5. Evaluation of Training

The best mentor I ever had because ... My two best mentoring skills are ... Things that might keep me from being a successful mentor Mentoring Skills I Want to Improve

For a full page .pdf version of this table, click here.

Want more ideas for training? Check out our online bookstore for Handling Problem Volunteers by Steve McCurley and Sue Vineyard. Details for Handling Problem Volunteers Book

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Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://tltc.shu.edu/npo/. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.

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