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Promising Program Seal

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

A community mentoring program which matches a volunteer adult mentor to an at-risk child or adolescent to delay or reduce antisocial behaviors; improve academic success, attitudes and behaviors, peer and family relationships; strengthen self-concept; and provide social and cultural enrichment.

Initial Training and Technical Assistance

See license fee schedule under Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Cost below.

Curriculum and Materials

See license fee schedule below.


See license fee schedule below.

Other Start-Up Costs

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recommends that a new program raise a minimum of $250,000 for start-up costs and to ensure sustainability and quality matches. This would purchase training for staff, set up an office and provide money for cash flow to cover revenue fluctuations.

Ongoing Curriculum and Materials

Programs need to budget a small amount for the ongoing copying of training materials for new mentors.


Qualifications: Big Brothers Big Sisters requires a bachelors degree for executive and match support staff, but has no other specific requirements for the following functions: fund development, mentor recruitment and mentor training.

Ratios: Recruited volunteer mentors work one-on-one with young people. There are no requirements regarding the ratio of administrative support to recruited volunteers.

Time to Deliver Intervention: Volunteers commit to meet with their mentees, regularly, at least two times per month.

Other Implementation Costs

Ongoing costs associated with operating an office.

Ongoing Training and Technical Assistance

See license fees below.

Fidelity Monitoring and Evaluation

See license fees below.

Ongoing License Fees

All costs for the support of the purveyor are covered in the Annual Licensing Fee. This fee ranges from $5,000 for a program serving 150-250 youth to $12,000 for a program serving 5,000 to 10,000 youth. The average licensing fee is $9,000.

Other Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs


Big Brothers Big Sisters of America highly recommends that programs raise a significant initial amount of money to function as a cash flow fund due to expected fluctuations in fund raising.

Year One Cost Example

An organization wanting to start a Big Brothers Big Sisters Program for 250 youth could expect to incur the following expenses in the first year:

Salary-Executive .5 FTE
Salary-Fund Developer .5 FTE
Salary-Mentor Recruiter/Trainer 1 FTE
Salary-Mentor Match/Support Person 1 FTE
Fringe at 30% of salaries
Office, advertising, equipment
Overhead @ 10% of staff cost

Total Year One Cost

The cost per youth matched with a mentor would be $1,312.