Big impact—proven results
We’ve always known we were making a positive impact on children and empowering them to succeed. A nationwide study confirmed it for us.
Public/Private Ventures, an independent Philadelphia-based national research organization, looked at over 950 boys and girls from eight Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country selected for their large size and geographic diversity. This study, conducted in 1994 and 1995, is widely considered to be foundational to the mentoring field in general and to Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based program in particular.
Approximately half of the children were randomly chosen to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister. The others were assigned to a waiting list. The matched children met with their Big Brothers or Big Sisters about three times a month for an average of one year.
Researchers surveyed both the matched and unmatched children, and their parents on two occasions: when they first applied for a Big Brother or Big Sister, and again 18 months later.
Researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in our program, were:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip a class
- 33% less likely to hit someone
They also found that the Littles were more confident of their performance in schoolwork and getting along better with their families.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Match
According to the Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) study, our one-to-one matches truly make an impact in children's lives. A Big Brothers Big Sisters’ match is carefully administered and held to the strictest standards. Agencies strive for matches that are not only safe and well suited to each child’s needs, but also harmonious and built to last. The entire matching process, from the initial screening to the final pairing—and beyond—is made possible by your financial support.
But don’t just think of us as simply matchmakers. We provide ongoing support and supervision to the Big, the Little, and the Little’s family. We offer training and advice to help ensure that the match is working for everyone involved. And our local agencies even receive their own ongoing training and consulting from the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Office. This web of support helps maximize the likelihood that a Big Brothers Big Sisters relationship will thrive.
Measuring our impact
Big Brothers Big Sisters believes that it must hold itself accountable to the families, children, and mentors enrolled in our program. We must hold ourselves accountable to the donors, partners, and advocates who fund our work. That is why a commitment to continuous learning, improvement, and research is at the heart of what we do.
Continuous learning through technology
Our commitment to measurement, analysis, and improvement is so core to who we are that we have developed a unique, proprietary method of tracking the interactions between Bigs and Littles. Known as the Agency Information Management system (or AIM), this performance management tool helps guide the decisions of our network of professionally trained staff members. Built to support Big Brothers Big Sisters, AIM provides the intelligence and data to continually improve our services to children.
Continuous learning through partnerships
Through the generous support of corporations, foundations, and donations, Big Brothers Big Sisters regularly participates in nationwide or local research opportunities.