Toolkit on Effective Mentoring for Youth
Facing Barriers to Success

Best practices and resources to build, strengthen, evaluate and sustain effective mentoring programs for youth considered at high-risk of under education, unemployment, homelessness, criminalization, and other negative outcomes.

Sustainability Planning

Sustainability can be defined as: “the overall stability of a [program]: its ability to weather temporary challenges, provide quality services in the present, and maintain a solid foundation for its future” (p.1).2

In the context of short-term, project-based funding, it can be very difficult to sustain a program beyond original or seed funding. Planning for the future and longevity of an initiative is an ongoing process that must begin early. A review1 of sustainability planning for mentoring programs identified six (6) key strategies to keep in mind when striving for sustainability. These key strategies are shown in the graph below1.


6 Key Strategies of Sustainability

For more detailed information and practical tools related to these six key strategies, refer to this Sustainability Planning Handbook. There is also an interactive workshop that accompanies this Handbook. For more information, contact us.


  1. Bania, M. (2014). Striving for sustainability: Six key strategies to guide your efforts. Ottawa, ON: YOUCAN.
  2. MacRae, P., & Wakeland, D. (2006). Building a sustainable mentoring program: A framework for resource development planning. Mentoring Resource Center, Falsom: CA, 1-83. Retrieved from
Funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services