Volunteer Enrollment Process
Volunteers are asked to complete the following intake, screening, and training process to ensure a high-quality and long-lasting match.
Volunteer Enrollment Process
There are seven steps to becoming a mentor!
- Get informed.
- Attend an interview.
- Attend training.
- Get matched.
- Meet your Little!
- Receive ongoing support.
First, get informed.
After you’ve browsed our website, learned about our three different mentoring opportunities, and chosen the best program for you, you’re ready to start the process. Unsure which program is right for you? Call us at (414) 831-4563.
Volunteers must be at least 18 and no longer in high school to volunteer in the School-based Program, at least 21 years old for the Community-based Program, and mentor2.0 volunteers must be at least 21 years old and have a minimum of a two-year college degree.
Fill out the online volunteer inquiry form, or call (414) 831-4563 to answer your questions and outline your next steps, including the formal application process.
In order to proceed, you’ll need to provide references, a driver’s license (or other ID), and proof of auto insurance (for Community-based only). You’ll also complete paperwork, including authorization to run an initial background check and annual background check on your use of electronic media, your driving record and criminal history. All this information is completely confidential.
Big Brothers Big Sisters staff will thoroughly review your application, conduct reference checks, and complete our multilayered background checks. Because you’ll be working with a child in a one-on-one setting, it’s important to create a safe environment for both you and the child. We also want to make sure we pair you with a child who best matches your personality, experiences, and interests. For these reasons, our application and screening process is very comprehensive.
*Big Brothers Big Sisters does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, physical condition, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.
Third, attend an in-person interview.
When your application, background checks, and reference checks are complete and approved, a Big Brothers Big Sisters staff member will sit down with you and have a conversation about your life, family, interests, and volunteer expectations. Sometimes we will complete a second interview and/or home visit. Children and families who in enroll in our programs go through a similar process.
Fourth, attend training.
All new volunteers are asked to complete an online training and attend a mandatory, in-person volunteer training to get you ready for your match. At training, you’ll meet our support staff and learn how to handle situations that may arise during your match. Training is a great way to meet other volunteers and learn valuable tips to enhance your volunteer experience. A short time after you complete your training, you’ll receive a letter to let you know if you've been accepted as a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer.
Fifth, get matched.
After training and careful consideration, we will contact you to talk about a child we think would be a good match with you. We’ll tell you a little about the child’s background, interests and personality. The child’s parent or guardian will learn the same things about you. If you both give the thumbs-up, we’ll schedule a time for you to meet your new Little Brother or Little Sister!
Sixth, meet your Little and start having fun!
Meeting your Little for the first time is exciting and you might be a little nervous. Your Little will probably be feeling the exact same way. A Big Brothers Big Sisters staff member will be with you to facilitate that introduction and get your match off to a strong start!
School-based and mentor2.0 meet for the first time at the school. For a Community-based match meeting, you will meet your Little’s family at their home and schedule your first one-on-one outing. We suggest planning low- or no-cost activities for the first few months to set appropriate expectations and put emphasis on building your relationship, not on spending money. There are lots of fun things to do that cost little or no money. We provide activity suggestions at your match meeting, as well as online in our “For Bigs” section.
Our involvement doesn’t end with making your match. You’ll receive a phone call from your Match Support Specialist, who will be in contact with you, your Little, and your Little’s parent/guardian for the length of your match. Always remember, we’re here to help you in any way we can.
In addition to monthly match support contacts, you’ll also receive emails about agency-wide activities. You can choose to participate in these opportunities or do your own thing – it’s up to you! The only requirements we have are that you get together per program requirements, follow our safety guidelines, and communicate with your Match Support Specialist monthly.
Now, get started!
We hope you’ll join the Big Brothers Big Sisters family as a volunteer. It’s a fun and rewarding experience that you’ll never forget. Sign up today!
If it’s not the right time for you to volunteer, you can still make a difference by making a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee. Donate online or call Vice President of Development Joel Cencius at (414) 831-4582 for more information.