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How to incorporate mentoring into social impact programming

Corporate mentoring volunteering program
Explore how can help your company make a deep community impact through mentoring-focused social impact experiences.

The ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch wrote in his essay, On Listening, “The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting” — a quote that relates how teachers and mentors can be the missing piece to the success of their students and mentees.

Nearly 2,000 years have passed since Plutarch expressed this statement. But his message about the value of mentorship transcends time, still resonating today. 

The benefits of mentorship programs

Mentorship is a cornerstone of professional development in many areas of the world. Whether it be a boss who advises you to apply for a leadership workshop or a peer who helps you craft the perfect resume, mentorship can help everyone find a fulfilling career that aligns with their values.

For students readying to enter the workforce, mentors can be invaluable — especially for those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds that may not know anyone in their career field of choice. 

Research shows that when young people have a formal mentor outside of their social, economic, and cultural circles, mentoring may have “a wide range of favorable behavioral, attitudinal, health-related, relational, motivational, and career outcomes,” according to a study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior

Additionally, it's not just mentees that benefit from a mentoring program. Mentors also get a lot out of sharing advice, too.

This may be because mentorship relationships close the knowledge gap between employees with varying backgrounds, perspectives, and identities. “Mentoring is no longer a one-way street — just as you can teach and influence your mentor as the mentee, you can mentor others,” writes David Nour, author of Curve Benders (Wiley, 2021), in the Harvard Business Review. “Doing so can help you reflect on your strengths and challenges, as well as share the insights you have gained through your own mentorship.”

Clearly, mentorship programs are a key way that corporations can engage their workforce to make a meaningful community impact while also widening employees’ skills and perspectives.

But there are several considerations organizers must keep in mind when planning such programs to maximize their impact. These considerations include: 

  1. Create a structural framework around mentorship programs to guide participants through key program markers.  

  2. Work with trusted partners and nonprofits to match mentors and mentees. 

  3. Provide opportunities for long-term connection and collaboration. 

Below, you’ll find a short case study that outlines how helped Gen Digital, one of our corporate partners, build a robust and effective mentorship program with students from HBCU (historically Black universities and colleges). 

We hope the case study sparks ideas on how your organization can start a mentorship program with and a global nonprofit, too. 

Case study: Long-term corporate mentorship in action 


Gen Digital wanted to leverage their employees’ unique skills and interests to make a community impact. helped the company design a year-long mentorship program with a nonprofit that empowers students from HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) to compete in corporate America.


The program pairs 20 Gen Digital employees with 20 HBCU students for 1:1 mentoring sessions every quarter throughout 2024. Each meeting has a pre-defined topic to equip students with the tools to pursue their dream careers.

Through the partnership, Gen Digital is making a community impact, supporting diverse talent, and building a long-term relationship with a nonprofit.

Program timeline 

Sample program timeline for a long-term mentorship program.
Sample program timeline for a long-term mentorship program.

Learn how can help your CSR and DEIB teams plan and execute a mentoring program. Schedule a call with a expert today! 


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