COMMUNITY-BASED MENTORING PROGRAM

Program Description

After enrolling in our Community-Based Mentoring Program, Bigs and Littles are thoughtfully matched based on geography (within a 20-minute drive), preferences (gender, race, age, etc.), and shared interests. Once the Match is approved by Big, Little, and parent/caregiver, introductions are made and we’re off!

Matches get together 2-4 times a month for a few hours. Bigs schedule outings directly with Littles and their parent/caregiver, and are responsible for picking up and transporting their Little. Activities vary based on the interests of the Bigs and Littles, so whether it’s frisbee at the park, paint night and ice cream, or a picnic hike, each Match can define what “quality time” looks like for them. 

THE ROLE OF BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF DANE COUNTY

Starting a new relationship can be daunting for both Big and Little, but we’re here every step of the way, providing:

  • Regular Match Support Contacts with Big, Little, and parent/caregiver to ensure the Match is healthy, safe, and thriving (monthly calls in the first year, then quarterly)
  • BBBS-hosted activities each month for Matches to attend (skiing event, Halloween party, craft night, etc.)
  • Tickets to sports, concerts, performing arts, etc. for Match outings
  • Discounts or free admission to businesses around town for Match outings
  • Resources and training for Bigs to increase cultural competency, trauma-informed mentoring, acknowledging biases, etc.
  • Access to support services for families

DID YOU KNOW?

While the majority of our Bigs mentor their Little one-on-one, more than 10% of our Matches are Big Couples and Big Families. In these Matches, volunteer Bigs sign up with their partner, spouse, children, etc., and get matched together with one Little. Mentoring is great, but mentoring with your family? Even better. To learn more about being part of a Big Couple or Big Family, contact us at reception@bbbsmadison.org or 608-661-5437.

PROGRAM BASICS

  • One-to-one mentoring program for Littles ages 6-18
  • Bigs and Littles are matched based on geography (within 20-minute drive), Match preferences (gender, race, age, etc.), and shared interests
  • Matches meet in-person for outings, choosing activities based on their schedules and interests
  • Bigs schedule outings with Little and parent/caregiver and are responsible for picking up and transporting Little
  • BBBS conducts regular Match Support contacts with Big/Little/parent to ensure the relationship is healthy, safe, and thriving (monthly contacts during the first year, quarterly after)

TIME & FREQUENCY

  • Most Matches meet on weekends or evenings (timing varies based on schedules of Bigs/Littles)
  • Matches meet 2-4 times each month for 1-3 hours

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING?

FAQ

REQUIREMENTS FOR LITTLES

 •  Children ages 6-13 (Matches can stay open until 18, but new Matches are only created for Littles 6-13)
•  Must live in Dane County
•  Parent or caregiver must complete online application process for child
•  Committed to meeting with mentor 2-4 times per month
•  Parent and child must connect with Match Support Specialist as required 
•  One-year commitment

REQUIREMENTS FOR BIGS

 •  18 years or older
•  Must live or work in Dane County
•  Complete online application process, interview, and references
•  Pass a background check
•  Valid driver’s license and auto insurance
•  Reliable car for transporting Little
•  Big must connect with Match Support Specialist as required 
•  One-year commitment

Other Ways to Get Involved

Whether you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County as a donor, potential Big, partner, or advocate, you have the power to change a child's future for the better.