Throughout 2019, MENTOR Virginia distributed surveys to mentoring programs across Virginia to develop a snapshot of trends, needs, and challenges of mentoring in Virginia’s communities. In celebration of National Mentoring Month this January, we are pleased to release the findings from the 2019 State of Mentoring in Virginia Survey. MENTOR Virginia will utilize the data captured through this survey to inform recruitment messaging, communication with stakeholders, and fundraising efforts in 2020.

The Survey’s Response Rate

MENTOR Virginia received 45 responses to the survey in total, a response rate of about 40%. MENTOR Virginia was hoping for a high response rate from the survey to provide a broad and accurate picture of the mentoring movement in Virginia. The results presented here are representative of the programs that responded to the survey, but cannot necessarily be taken to represent trends, needs, and challenges across all Virginia’s mentoring programs and communities.


Highlights from the Survey Results

Program Characteristics

In 2019, 45 mentoring programs in Virginia served 10,239 mentees. Of those 45 mentoring programs,

  • 40% were located in Richmond 
  • 24% were located in Northern Virginia
  • 20% were in Hampton Roads
  • The remaining 16% of programs were located in Greater Charlottesville, the Eastern Shore, Southwest Virginia, and DC. 

Of the mentoring programs that completed the survey,

  • 25 provided one-to-one mentoring as their primary program model
  • 11 provided a blend of one-to-one and group mentoring as their primary program model
  • 8 provided group mentoring as their primary program model
  • 3 provided one of either cross-age peer mentoring, e-mentoring, or team mentoring as their primary program model.

The most common core goals of the 45 mentoring programs in the survey included:

  • Life skills and social skills
  • General relationship development
  • Academic enrichment.

Mentee Characteristics

Of the 10,239 mentees served in 2019 by the mentoring programs that completed the survey,

  • Most mentees (76%) were 11–18 years old
  • Most mentees (52.3%) were female
  • Most mentees (74%) were Black or African-American
  • 1,961 mentees were considered low-income
  • 4,722 mentees had one or more parents in the military
  • 85 mentees were recent immigrants or refugees.

In 2019, 6,344 Virginia youth are on a waitlist to be matched with a mentor. Most youth on the waiting lists (87%) are 5–14 years old.

Match Characteristics and Longevity

In 2019, a total of 1,360 new matches were made in the mentoring programs that completed the survey. On average, each mentoring program initiated 30 new matches in 2019. The average minimum match length was 10.22 months, and 64% of matches met their program’s minimum required match length.

Program Challenges

When asked what about challenges, mentoring programs most often reported that funding, recruiting, and staff capacity were their greatest challenges.

MENTOR Virginia’s Impact

Of the programs that completed the survey, over 68% had accessed one or more of MENTOR Virginia’s services within the past year. Programs that accessed MENTOR Virginia’s services, when compared to those who did not…

  • Self-reported as being more effective in Mentee Recruitment, Training, Matching, Match Support, and Program Management
  • Used and required curriculums more often to guide their program practices
  • Had matches that met the required minimum length 17% more often

To read the full report on the 2019 State of Mentoring in Virginia Survey, click here.