Monthly Archives: January 2016

Element #7 of Highly Effective Tutorial: Leveraged Subsidies for Service (Part One)

You’ve followed our series this far, so you know what it takes to run a highly effective tutorial:

  1. High Quality Oversight
  2. Professionalization of Tutors
  3. 1:1 or 1:2 Ratios
  4. Balanced Collaboration and Autonomy
  5. Regular Assessment and Progress Monitoring
  6. Tutors for All (not Some)
  7. Leveraged Subsidies for Service

You’re almost ready to go. There’s just one question, however. What’s all this going to cost?


Well I’m not going to lie to you — individualized instruction changes lives, but it doesn’t come cheaply.  There’s a reason why the highest quality Tutoring and Test Prep orgs (shout out to local start-up Signet Education here, one of the best) can charge upwards of $100 an hour and still have students waiting in line for their services.

That being said, if you’re going to truly have Tutors for All (not some), you have to take advantage of each and every available economy at your disposal.  That means mastering the bewildering landscape of subsidies for service and then leveraging the heck out of them.  Below are a few sources for highly subsidized (or free!) tutors that you should have available..  Check back in a few days for some tips on how to make each work for you.

College and Graduate Students

  • Federal Work-Study
  • Service-Learning programs, especially ones that are tied to scholarships
  • Education, Sociology, Public Policy Classes and Departments
  • Fraternities and Sororities, many of which have service requirements

Recent College Graduates

  • Stipend for service “Corps” programs
  • Volunteer placement organizations such as Boston Cares
  • Networking events by groups such as Socializing for Justice

Professionals, retirees and/or mid-career changers

  • Partnership with local retirement community
  • Partnership with local churches
  • Partnership with local service organizations (Kiwanis, Elks, etc)

#BridgingtheGap Annual Appeal Campaign – We Did It!


In case you haven’t heard, the results are in on this year’s annual appeal – and we’re proud to announce that we’ve raised a record-breaking $21,460! Thank you to all our supporters, including former tutors, friends and family, and our anonymous matching donor for all their generosity. This year, we set our sights on raising $20,000, an ambitious 33% more than our goal of $15,000 last year and more money than we’ve ever raised for our annual campaign – so being able to surpass that has been an even greater accomplishment. 

What made this year’s fundraising campaign so successful? We made a variety of changes this year that helped us surpass our goal. First was the addition of Development Coordinator Bob Hornstein, whose background in fundraising proved an invaluable resource. Secondly, we began our campaign at the beginning of December, allowing us more time to reach donors at multiple touch-points throughout the month and in a variety of ways. We sent letters and emails, made phone calls, and spread word via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach as many people as possible to let them know about the campaign and the opportunity they had to give back. Finally, we reached out to our former tutors, many of whom have since graduated college and are pursuing diverse career paths, from earning PhDs in psychology and biology to working for CBS, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and City Year. It was a great opportunity to reconnect and hear about their work, and even greater to receive their support.

So, what comes next?  

  1. For those who have donated, look out for an email from us about matching gifts, which are an easy way to double your impact through your workplace. Have a gift eligible for matching, or want to check if you do? Email with your information.
  2. Making sure that we don’t just talk with our supporters once a year, but that we keep in touch throughout the year, reconnecting with former tutors and students and connecting with new friends of the organization. Help us keep in touch! If you are a former tutor or student, send an email update to letting us know how you’re doing and what you’re up to so we can feature you in future posts!
  3. Lastly, even though spring is far away, we’re already hard at work on a certain beloved springtime athletic event… stay tuned for more details soon!

With all our gratitude,

Tutors for All Staff

Staff Profile: Bob Hornstein, Development Coordinator

Bob Hornstein head shot

Bob started off in the for-profit world, but nowadays he uses his sales and marketing skills to help build a better world – most recently by helping us raise our greatest annual appeal amount yet. He sat down with us and talked about his background, what brought him to T4A, and what he’s looking forward to in 2016.



1) Tell us about yourself (where are you from, what do you like to do):

I grew up in Rhode Island and while I was in college I knew that I wanted to live in Boston, so the day after I graduated I moved to Boston and have been here ever since.  My first job was working as a cabana boy at a private beach club and I have always enjoyed being near the ocean.  Nowadays I constantly question why I live in a place where summer isn’t year-round, but I have no desire to move.  

2) What were you doing before you began working with Tutors for All?

The first half of my career was in sales and sales management in the for-profit world.  As I climbed the corporate ladder I was motivated by money and success.  Then I went through some life-changing events and made the decision to do mission-driven work in the nonprofit sector. I spent ten years working at a nonprofit health clinic, Pathways to Wellness, where I created a marketing department and worked on client retention, outreach and fundraising.  

3) What drew you to Tutors for All?

The mission of T4A is what interested me the most about my position here.  Access to a good education at all grade levels is the key to a successful future, not just for the individual student, but also for the community at large.

4) What has been the best part of working here so far?

I really enjoy being a team player and I like the way Mark encourages everyone to contribute ideas.  I am also very proud that my first major project here, our annual appeal campaign, has been a great success. I have to admit, the old salesperson in me really likes achieving goals. Actually, that’s not true – I really like over-achieving, so when I am given a goal I love to go above and beyond what is expected.     

5) What are you most looking forward to in your work with T4A in 2016?

When I was interviewing for my position here I became keenly aware of some of the long term goals that were being set for T4A.  While these goals will take several years to accomplish, I look forward to working hard to propel T4A to the next level and getting us closer to hitting the long term goals.   

6) Lastly, did you make any new years resolutions? If so, what were they and why?

I generally do not make New Years resolutions.  I have always believed that if you want to set a goal for yourself you shouldn’t wait until January 1st to do it; as soon as you decide to set a goal (or resolution) for yourself, you start that day.  But yes, in the past I have made different resolutions and found myself breaking them within weeks or days.  One year I made a New Years resolution to lose weight and cut down on sweets.  But around 2:00pm on New Years day I decided to bake a cake.  Oh, well – so much for that!