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Planet Main
In This Section
PDF March/April 2006
e-mail February 27, 2006
e-mail December 20, 2005


Why the Endangered Species Act Works...
Sierra Club Kicks Off 'Reality TV'
Largest-Ever Mercury Study
First You Trek, Then You Organize
The (New and Improved) Sierra Club
The Structure of Leadership in the Sierra Club
Who You Gonna Call? A Guide to Staff Resources
Introducing the Mentoring Program
Who We Are
Richard Sloan
Linda Ernst
Rod Hunter


PDF January/February 2006
The Power of Many
How We Saved the Arctic Refuge (For Now)
Getting Somewhere on the Bridges to Nowhere
Cities Get Cool
Measuring Mercury
Fighting for the Valle Vidal
Building Trust
There's No Limit to Colorado's Power
Finding Common Ground
Trickle-Down Activism
‘Hey, I Can Do This’
I Can Smell for Miles and Miles
Building Environmental Community One Canyon at a Time
Paper to Pixels
Sierra Summit Soars
‘Why Live If You Don't Have Something to Struggle For?’
Expanding Excom
Club Charts Direction for Next Five Years
Big Easy to Beltway: ‘Where's the Beef?’
2005 Timeline
Faces of the Sierra Club
Search for a Story
Back Issues

The Planet
Introducing the Mentoring Program

Let’s say you’ve been an active Sierra Club member for some time and you decide to up the ante and become chapter chair. But quickly you discover that for all your passion and commitment, leading effective meetings isn’t your forte. Neither are the administrative tasks that come with the job. And what to do about those two conservation committee members who are forever quibbling?

That’s where the Sierra Club’s Mentoring Program comes in. Less than a year old, the program pairs veteran leaders with volunteers new to their leadership roles. The program’s goals are twofold: to help get knowledge and expertise to new leaders; and to keep past leaders engaged. “Often a chapter chair will complete their term and then, for all intents and purposes, disappear,” says program co-director and Delaware Chapter Chair Matt Urban. “The Mentoring Program is an effort to keep those people in the loop by helping new leaders to learn the ropes—it’s about fostering relationships between leaders and sharing information in an informal way.”

The program is an outgrowth of a recent study of national advocacy groups by Harvard public policy professor Marshall Ganz and the Sierra Club. That study, “National Purpose, Local Action,” found that the Club could be more effective in its grassroots work if it placed more emphasis on training and nurturing volunteer leaders. Urban and fellow Delaware Chapter leader Debbie Heaton launched a pilot project in May 2005, pairing four veteran leaders with newcomers.

Find out more at leaders/mentoring.

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