(SARASOTA, Fla., November 3, 2016) Manasota SCORE marked the end of their 2015-2016 chapter year with data showing continued growth – more mentors and more services. The chapter’s theme has been to increase Impact, Reach and Relevance, and year-end data confirms their success.
With an active program for recruiting new members, including the use of social media and the online Volunteer Match, Manasota SCORE grew to 80 members, with a 25% growth in the last year and a total of 82% growth over the last two years. New volunteers include several mentors serving the south Sarasota County area. A chapter focus on increasing diversity resulted in 16% women or minorities among the new volunteers.
Volunteer engagement has been encouraged and supported by the creation of teams that provide non-mentoring opportunities for participation, monthly volunteer activity reports, and an increase in volunteer recognition.
The growth in volunteer mentors and expanded outreach efforts contributed to a sustained increase in new clients, with a 19% increase in unique clients served this year and a 21% growth in client mentoring sessions. Approximately 1/3 of the chapter’s mentoring clients own existing businesses; the remainder are planning or just starting a business.
The chapter’s Education Services produced significant gains in both Reach and Relevance. Their Simple Steps for Starting Your Business workshops now incorporate a one-page business planning tool. Education for existing business owners focuses more on internet sales and social media, delivered through not only workshops but also MeetUp sessions and programs in partnerships with both county library systems and several area educational institutions. Another outreach and education channel that has been successful in attracting mentors and clients is the Business SCORE Card column, written by chapter chair Dennis Zink and published weekly in the Herald Tribune.
Downloads of podcasts from the chapter’s “Been There, Done That” with Dennis Zink series escalated dramatically this year, passing the 10,000 downloads marker. In October, there was a 75% increase in downloads from the previous month, which had been the best month to date. These podcasts are now featured on the national SCORE.org website.
Education services increased by over 63% this year, compared to a 7% national average, and total services grew more than 51%.
For information about Manasota SCORE’s business education or free business mentoring services, visit www.manasota.score.org.
About Manasota SCORE
SCORE is a national, nonprofit organization, started in 1964, that has over 11,000 members, retired and active business executives who donate their time providing education and mentoring services for people who are starting a new or growing an existing business.
Manasota SCORE has over 70 volunteers providing education and mentoring services in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The organization conducts business startup and development workshops and hosts Success Strategies for Business Owners MeetUp sessions. They also provide online resources, including business templates, study courses in English and Spanish, and podcasts. For more information or to contact Manasota SCORE, call 941.955.1029 or visit www.manasota.score.org.
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