Can You Really Manage A Mentoring Program Without Software?

Yes, it is possible to manage your mentoring program manually! We’ll even tell you how to do it! Because, at the end of the day, a well-run mentoring program is what matters most — even if it’s manually run.

Here’s our how-to on manual mentoring program management—from getting people to sign up, to matching, check-ins, reporting, and beyond!


Sending out email invites is relatively easy — as long as you have a list. If you don’t, you’ll have to start that list from scratch, which can take a lot of time and be a bit of a cumbersome process.

If your program is open to everyone, then this is a bit easier as all you have to do is hit “send to all.” If not, make sure you allow enough time to collect the relevant contact information and double-check to ensure that 1) no one is missed, and 2) no one is on the list that shouldn’t be.

But, if you have a little bit more time to spare to market your program, you can do more than this! Check out our guide to program marketing and recruitment to learn how you can use other assets and methods to recruit participants for your program.

However with Mentorloop: your participants will be able to create their own mentoring profile, making it easier than ever for them to self-select or enter the program at any time. Learn more about xyz 

Profile Management

In order to manage participants’ profiles, we recommend you use Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or a similar service. Additionally, you’ll need to have a tool that inputs all the profile information into a list you can filter and search. This will be very handy for matching later on.


After you do a manual review of all your participant profiles, you’ll need to match your participants and then create a spreadsheet for your final list of pairings.

For some guidance on matching, you can download our eBook on the 5 Key Ingredients to Successful Matching.

Next, it’s time to connect each mentoring pair personally via email or another messaging service your organisation is using. This doesn’t need to be extremely formal. You can make intros via Slack or Teams if your organisation’s culture is more casual.


Within the first few weeks, make sure you check up on whether your mentoring pairs are meeting and how the partnership is going. This can be done via email or a messaging service.

Once you’ve heard back, use your spreadsheet to mark who’s meeting and who’s lagging behind. Reach out to the stragglers again and see how you can help facilitate them getting their partnerships off the ground.


After a few months, it’s time to gather feedback on your participants’ mentoring relationships and what your pairs have accomplished together. Use a survey (you can use Google Forms or SurveyMonkey again), and then feed this information into a spreadsheet (you can use the one you’ve already created or start a new one exclusively for this purpose).

Also, we advise that you don’t just collect feedback at the end of the program. It’s best to do this throughout so you leave yourself room to troubleshoot or course-correct if need be.


Last but not least, you’ll need to generate reports on how the entire cohort is progressing. After all, you can’t improve what you can’t measure! Making the data you have from the survey visual by generating tables and graphs can better highlight trends and performance metrics. These can be created with whatever spreadsheet software you’re using, whether it be Excel on PCs, Numbers on Macs, or via Google Sheets in the Google suite.

Our advice? Try to get both qualitative and quantitative data on how your program is progressing. Numbers are great, but it’s always more meaningful when the humans behind the numbers can provide them with context. After all, mentoring is all about human connection, so it stands to reason that we include the human aspect in reporting on it.

In Conclusion

If you have a small program, you can definitely follow these steps and run a mentoring program manually. However, if you have a larger pool of participants or plan to grow your program, have a think about whether it’s worth the time and effort.

After all, if your program is too hard to manage and therefore poorly run, it can do more harm than good; according to The Atlantic:

“Researchers have established that negative mentoring experiences caused more intense emotional and behavioural responses among employees compared to positive incidents.”

That’s why, when it comes to mentoring, it’s not just about the program’s intention, but also its execution. Thankfully, if you don’t want to do everything manually, we’re here to help! Find out how Mentorloop can help you run your best mentoring program yet by checking out which Mentorloop plan is right for your organisation!

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