Youth Development

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois



Belleville, IL


Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Ruling Year


President & CEO

Mrs. Heather Freed

Main Address

2900 Frank Scott Parkway West Suite 956

Belleville, IL 62223 USA


mentor, counseling, free, family, volunteer, child, youth, scholastic, Illinois, St. Clair, Monroe, Madison, Clinton





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (O31)

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (O31)

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (O31)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to success and thrive in life. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. A national study found that impact of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program serves as a leading indicator for successful youth development outcomes because the focus is less on specific problems after they occur, and more on meeting youths' most basic developmental needs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois is committed to making meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (Community Based "Bigs") or high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12 (School Based "Bigs") and children ("Littles") ages 6 through 18 in the Illinois Counties of Monroe, Madison, Clinton and St. Clair. The systematic and repeatable approach to our mentoring program follows a detailed, Board approved program manual.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

One to One Community Mentoring

Short-Term Youth Counseling

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

1. Match longevity and retention 2. Financial growth & sustainability 3. Talent acquisition and retention

Improve efficiency of child and volunteer enrollment.
Define success by impact at scale using quality metrics.
Establish the operational budget based on revenue capacity with a direct financial tie to the annual fund development plan.
Create a 3 month reserve for fiscal responsibility.
Design a Board Orientation process that is systematic and repeatable.
Prepare an ongoing Board matrix that details gap analysis and Membership accountability.
Create an annual operational plan to engage and steward employees, donors and volunteers.
Ensure that the vision, mission and accountability statement of the organization is the central focus of operations.

The Board Development Plan was revised and approved for 2017-2019. From this plan a Board Matrix has been drafted to provide an analysis of current board members, identify gaps and guide the Board Development Committee in their recruitment to diversify membership. In addition, the agency has successfully recruited a Board Fellow from the Olin Business School of Washington University who will serve May 2017-2018. Their focus will be to work in partnership with the organization leadership and Board Development Committee to create a systematic and repeatable approach to the Board Orientation process.

We have a fully-staffed Board of Directors that has engaged in strategic planning and supporting the Annual Operational plan of the organization.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois utilizes a nationally-recognized infrastructure to pair a child with a role model creating a professionally supported, one-to-one relationship that results in a measurable impact on children. An independent national research study has scientifically confirmed that positive relationships through the Big Brothers Big Sisters' mentoring program have a direct and measurable impact on children's lives. By participating in our programs, Littles are more confident in their schoolwork performance, able to get along better with their families, less likely to begin using illegal drugs, less likely to begin using alcohol, less likely to skip school, less likely to skip a class and less likely to hit someone. According to the study, our one-to-one matches are the driving force behind making an impact on children. Our matches are systematically administered and held to the strictest standards. We 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 professionally supported by our staff. We offer training and advice to help ensure the match is working for everyone involved. We are committed to investing in our own professional development and training through independent local services as well as through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in order to provide the maximum support to our Bigs, Littles and their families.

Littles age 9 and above who have been matched for at least one calendar year (for community-based) or school year (for school-based) participate in our Youth Outcome Survey (YOS). Note: Based on results on a BBBS of America pilot program, the YOS is only administered to youth ages nine and over because of comprehension levels. The YOS is designed to measure the length, strength, and outcomes of each match we serve. The YOS is a set of 32 questions that cover youth attitudes in 3 strategic outcome areas: educational success, risky behaviors, and socioemotional competence. The survey is administered in pre and post test formats - before the youth is match, then at milestone intervals after a year (or school year) of mentoring. The YOS was designed in collaboration with Dr. Carla Herrera, Dr. Jean Grossman, and Dr. Jean Rhodes. The outcome areas were determined based on the results found in the two BBBS studies which, through rigorous randomized-control trial methodology, established the positive impact that BBBS mentoring has on youth served. The questions were taken mainly from surveys used in the public domain where validity and reliability have already been established.

We realize that simple, annual evaluation measures cannot measure changes in life trajectory; however certain short term outcomes have proven to be indicators of long-lasting impact on youth. From a research perspective, YOS is not constructed to measure change in behavior, but rather in attitudes using a range of scales accepted in the public domain. The YOS is a powerful tool in demonstrating BBBS accountability for these select youth outcomes to the communities we serve.

The goal in using the YOS is to strengthen our ability to be accountable for each youth we serve by creating an outcome measurement tool
focused on "what we achieve". The YOS is used to ensure continuous quality improvement when evaluating the strength of individual matches, the impact of our services, and to make adjustments or enhancements as needed to provide the best quality service.

External Reviews


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable