How to Get Your Mentoring Program Proposal Right

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Before starting (or reinvigorating) your mentoring program, it is a good idea to put a mentoring program proposal together. This proposal helps to outline the important elements of your mentoring program – and showcase to upper management and other colleagues the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of mentoring.

Developing a successful mentoring program isn’t easy, but with the right guidance, it’s simple. A critical first step in this process is the development of a program proposal, which lays out the need, goals, and proposed budget for a mentoring program. Understandably, organizations can struggle to develop a proposal that’s both informative and convincing. This article is designed to help you achieve this, by walking you through the different parts of a successful mentoring program proposal.

download program proposal template

What is a Mentoring Program Proposal?

A mentoring program proposal is a comprehensive document which outlines the various objectives and goals of a program as well as the resources and tools required to implement it. It’s typically written when an organization is attempting to create a mentoring program from scratch, or improve its existing mentorship program, to ultimately increase its impact on the organization. Understanding how to craft an effective mentoring program proposal is key to getting it right.

To give you a push in the right direction, we’ll explain how to craft the a well prepared proposal and provide you with our simple mentoring program proposal framework. This framework captures all of the detail needed to prove that your program is well thought out – and valuable for your organisation and people.

Identifying the Need for a Mentoring Program

A successful proposal starts with a strong case for the need for a mentoring program. Here, it’s important to provide an overview of the particular circumstances that led the organization to pursue a mentoring initiative. For example, is the organization focused on career transitions, dealing with workforce retention issues, or trying to bridge a skills gap? It’s also a good idea to include research demonstrating the prevalence and value of structured mentoring programs.

Mentoring programs can provide a range of benefits to organizations, such as increased employee engagement, improved job satisfaction, and increased productivity. Additionally, mentoring programs can help to create a culture of learning and development, which can lead to improved employee retention and a more diverse and inclusive workplace. By providing evidence of the need for a mentoring program, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to creating a positive and supportive work environment.

Ask yourself: what do you plan to accomplish with a mentoring program and how will this help your organization? Having clear goals and a defined purpose will keep the proposal compelling and focused throughout.

It is also important to consider the potential impact of the mentoring program on the organization’s bottom line. Mentoring programs can help to reduce employee turnover, which can lead to cost savings in recruitment and training. Additionally, mentoring programs can help to increase employee retention, which can lead to increased productivity and improved customer service.


When creating any proposal, the first thing you want to cover is the value proposition i.e what’s in it for me/us?

This value proposition serves to quickly and succinctly describes the purpose and benefits of the proposed activity.

Speaking to the value proposition of mentoring is easy, given the extensive and various studies which have showcased it’s consistent and reliable value in the workplace.

For inspiration, we compiled a list of 40 mentoring program benefits, and have already completed this section for you in the presentation template – which speaks to some highly convincing stats e.g:

Here are plenty more mentoring statistics you need to know

Crafting a Clear, Convincing Proposal

Once you’ve identified the need for a mentoring program, it’s time to craft your proposal. Start by writing down your objectives and goals for the program. Be sure to include details about the target audience, program length, structure and qualifications of participants. Think about how the program will fit with your organization’s overall mission and culture and be sure to ensure that all stakeholders are in agreement and on board with the goals of the proposal.

When writing your proposal, consider the needs of your stakeholders:

  • What are their goals and objectives?
  • What challenges are they facing?
  • How can your program help them to achieve their goals?

By understanding the needs of the stakeholders, you can tailor your proposal to meet their needs and demonstrate how your program can help them to achieve their objectives.

When writing your proposal, be sure to include a timeline for implementation and a budget. This will help you to plan out the resources needed to make the program successful. Additionally, include a plan for evaluating the program’s success. This will help you to measure the impact of the program and make any necessary adjustments.

Finally, be sure to include a clear call-to-action. This will help to ensure that your proposal is taken seriously and that the stakeholders understand the importance of the program. Make sure to include a timeline for when the proposal should be reviewed and a contact person for any questions or concerns.


The next part of your proposal should cover the program goals and objectives. One of the natural questions that proposal readers are going to be asking is what are the objectives of this program? What can we hope to get out of it?

Some natural macro level program goals for mentoring programs are:

  • Learning and development
  • Diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging
  • Engagement and retention
  • Succession planning/leadership development
  • Employee onboarding
  • Building a more robust culture (a culture of knowledge-sharing)

Stating these macro goals is necessary – but not sufficient for satisfying upper management. They want to see measurable objectives tied to these goals e.g.:

  • Promote 50% more managers internally over the next two years (which is tied closely to leadership development)
  • Increase our share of minority managers by 10% over the next 2 years (tied to diversity and inclusion)

These goals help managers and ROI driven stakeholders to see the value of mentoring and feel comfortable in the notion that there will be tangible results.

Establishing a Compelling Budget

Creating an effective budget is essential when writing a mentoring program proposal. Determine what costs are necessary, such as mentee/mentor matching software or other tools and resources, to ensure the success of the program. Have a think about any additional expenses that may incur along the way, such as in-person events for mentors and mentees, and make sure to account for your time when proposing a budget – you might want to learn more about what to expect and what a Mentoring Program Coordinator does.

When creating a budget, it is important to consider the long-term costs of the program. This includes the cost of maintaining the program, such as the cost of software updates, or the cost of additional resources that may be needed as the program grows. One aspect often overlooked is considering the cost of marketing the program to ensure that it reaches the right audience.

It is also important to consider the cost of evaluating the program. This includes the cost of surveys, interviews, and other methods of collecting feedback from mentors and mentees. This feedback can be used to make improvements to the program and ensure that it is meeting its goals.
If you’re using Mentorloop however, you won’t need to consider this aspect at all, as it comes standard with every account created.

Building a Supportive Team

Like any project, ensuring that the team is well-equipped to handle the tasks at hand is key to success. This means providing the necessary resources, such as mentoring software.

Building a culture of mentoring is not a one-person job. A successful program requires the dedication of a leader who can motivate and oversee the program – a Mentoring Program Coordinator, to liaise with stakeholders, mentors and mentees.

So it’s important to ensure those involved are well-equipped with the necessary resources to participate. This includes access to support materials, communication tools, and other resources that can help mentors and mentees stay connected and engaged. A platform such as Mentorloop can ensure your program can run asynchronously, with all of your participants supported with the right resources and guidance at the right time in their mentoring journey – along with communications integrations to make it easy to weave into your ecosystem.


One of the first things people are worried about when you propose anything is “what do I have to do?”.

The sooner you can clear this up – the better. Let everyone know who will be taking care of and overseeing program administration and participant success. For many of your stakeholders, this may simply be a commitment to promoting the program to the broader organization or participating as a ‘Mentoring Champion‘.

Here, you may describe what a Program Coordinator does and what they can expect from one.


Now that you have covered the what and why – it’s time to dive into the how.

And the how starts with what employees, students, or members will be involved – and how they will be matched into their mentorships.

You will want to cover the size and scale of your program (is it for 100 people or 500 people?), and cover what criteria you are using for selecting suitable mentors and mentees:

  • Is this program intended for sales people?
  • Is the program intended for new hires?
  • What types of mentors are you looking for?

Then briefly cover how and by what criteria people will be matched.

  • Program Coordinator-Led (matched manually)
  • Self Match (participants match themselves)
  • Smart Matched (matched via an algorithm)
  • Blended Match (a combination of the above)

Establishing Program Sustainability and Demonstrating Program Impact

When writing a mentoring program proposal, it’s important to consider how the program can maintain momentum over time. Start by factoring in the length of the program, as well as any structures that you have put in place unique to your organization—into your proposal. Additionally, outline why this mentorship program is meaningful for the organization and the community that you serve.

Here, you may consider how the program will be evaluated and monitored to ensure that it is meeting its goals and objectives. This includes developing a plan for collecting data and feedback from participants, as well as establishing a system for tracking progress and making adjustments as needed. By taking the time to plan for sustainability, you can ensure that your mentoring program is successful and beneficial for all involved.

With Mentorloop, reporting and analysis is simple with live Sentiment feedback and downloadable reports on your dashboard. You’ll be across your program health at all times – no need to conduct or wait for annual survey responses.

If you’re running your program manually without a tool like Mentorloop, it’s important to consider the timeline for collecting data and the resources needed to do so. For example, if surveys are used, how often will they be administered? Will they be administered online or in person? What type of personnel will be needed to administer the surveys?


This section of your proposal is pure logistics.

Make sure to clarify the stages of implementation – and any of the support or resources you will need a long the way.


This section of the proposal allows you to elaborate on your goals and showcase some of the resources which will help you get there.

Are you going to be incorporating goal-setting resources into the program? And meeting checklists? Or are supplemental training courses going to be involved?

This area helps to clarify how you will provide a great experience (and productive one) for your mentors and mentees.

Creating an Effective Evaluation Process

Demonstrating successful impact through evaluation results should be conducted objectively and regularly. Consider detailing the evaluation criteria upfront and how this will tie into expected outcomes.

Ensure that the evaluation process is tailored to the specific needs of your organization. That is, your evaluation criteria should be tailored to the specific goals and objectives you stated earlier. It’s important to ensure that the evaluation process is conducted in a timely manner, so that any changes or adjustments can also be made in a timely manner.

Mentorloop is the perfect tool for this – by continuously collecting qualitative and quantitative data, evaluating the program (at any point) is simple, time-effective and transparent. In fact, you’ll be encouraged to course correct your program as you go, rather than waiting until the end of your program to understand where you should have intervened, re-matched or provided support. The platform takes care of the heavy lifting.


All of this is great, but at the end of the day, management will want to know how they are going to be able to judge success and ROI.

If you are unsure as to how you will evaluate your mentoring program – we wrote a great article about some simple ways to track mentoring program success here.

While mentoring is a great initiative in theory i.e providing employees with a channel for developing their skills, confidence, and progress, it is extremely important to show management that you are thinking about this program in terms of ROI.

Every proposal you ever put together should be framed around:

This input (the proposed activity) = this output (and here is how we will evaluate it).

This way, you instantly avoid the obvious objections – and are more likely to push your program through to fruition.

Choosing the Right Resources and Tools

You may require various resources and tools when creating or enhancing a mentoring program. With the help of technology, various platforms such as Mentorloop provide streamlined administrative features for programs such as scheduling meetings, tracking outcomes, and securely connecting mentors with mentees. Consider any additional resources that you may need when writing your proposal.

Using Mentorloop to Power Your Mentoring Program

Mentorloop is an all-in-one mentoring management platform, designed to help organizations coordinate, measure and manage their mentoring programs more effectively. The platform simplifies managing mentor/mentee relationships in a secure online environment, providing all of the data needed for you to track results. This includes real-time analytics for program management and insights on engagement data.

Mentorloop provides a range of features to help you manage your mentoring program, including automated onboarding, smart mentor matching, and automated ‘nudges’ to keep participants on track. Customize your program to meet the specific needs of your organization by tailoring sign-up forms and even customize the look and feel of the platform to match your organization’s branding.

Management and evaluation is a breeze, as it provides a range of reporting and analytics tools to help you track the progress of your mentoring program. And, you can view real-time data on mentor/mentee relationships, engagement levels, and program performance. It’s everything you need to identify areas of continuous improvement and guarantee your program is meeting its goals, week on week.

As we’ve explored, creating a successful mentoring program proposal requires a bit of thought, research and preparation. By following these tips, you can ensure that your mentoring program proposal will capture the attention of decision makers and stakeholders – one that’s comprehensive and convincing. Remember to define objectives clearly, capture compelling outcomes, and ensure sustainability in order to get your proposal approved and running successfully. With the right resources in place, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful mentoring program. We wish you luck!

Keen to get Mentorloop in front of your team? Speak to sales to book a demo with one of our mentoring experts.

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Emily Ryan
Emily Ryan
Head of Marketing at Mentorloop. Observing tens of thousands of mentoring relationships, she is passionate about helping people get the most from their mentoring experience. When not writing, you'll find her brewing beer or globe-trotting.

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