How much does a business mentoring program cost?

articles for businesses building a mentoring program
Man asking how much does a business mentoring program cost.

At Next Level Mentoring (NLM) this is one of the most popular questions we get asked.

This article will give you exact costs for our standard business mentoring programs and explain the variables that can affect these costs.

To help frame the discussion around costs, we will use our 5-stage process for building a mentoring program. You can get more details around the 5 stages by clicking on this link -> what are the 5 stages of a mentoring program.



The costs of a mentoring program are...

With a business mentoring program there are many variables at play; number of participants, duration of the program, locations, matching technique etc.

To firstly answer the original question, the standard pricing of a next level business mentoring program is as follows

  • Up to 15 mentoring pairs (15 mentees and 15 mentors): $15,000 AUD + GST
  • Up to 25 mentoring pairs (25 mentees and 25 mentors): $25,000 AUD + GST

These prices are inclusive of developing and running your mentoring program for all 5 stages shown above. There are no hidden extras.


What variables can alter this price?

There are a few variables that could alter the price. We will address the following variables in this article:

  1. Planning your program.
  2. Number of participants.
  3. Duration of the program.
  4. Location of your program.
  5. Location of the participants.
  6. Work schedule of the participants.
  7. Mentoring matching process.
  8. Training for the participants.
  9. Management of the program.
  10. Hosting the various sessions.
  11. Content of the various sessions.
  12. Feedback

We will discuss each variable separately to confirm if they

  • Affect the standard costs
  • Do not affect the standard costs

Note: all these variables will be discussed and agreed in the 1st stage of developing your mentoring program "Plan".


1 - Planning

This variable does not affect the standard costs.

The costs for planning a mentoring program doesn't really vary between program to program. Our planning questionnaire will help you think about why you want a mentoring program and what it should look like. The questionnaire will ask certain items like:

  • What are we wanting to achieve through mentoring.
  • Number of participants in the program.
  • What is the best department or group to target for mentees and mentors.
  • How to match the pairs.
  • Etc.

Once you have completed the questionnaire you should have a good idea about your future mentoring program. You will then need to invite your main stakeholders (including your executive sponsor, if that is not you) into a planning workshop to agree and finalise the plan. On average, this workshop takes around 90 minutes and NLM facilitates it.

Our standard mentoring package pricing includes all planning of your program to ensure success.

We also provided this planning phase as a stand-alone process to our clients for a cost of $875 AUD + GST if you are only interested in this phase at first.


2 - Number of participants.

This variable affects the standard costs. 

The larger your group, the more time it takes to

  • Match all your participants
  • Run the various sessions (training, kick-off, mid-session pulse checks, close-out).
  • Spend time on helping individual participants as needed to ensure they are getting value from the program.

At Next Level Mentoring we use our own matching tool to help speed up the matching process.

There also comes a point where the increasing number of participants means you should consider using mentoring software. This is because the matching algorithms within the software will speed up the mentoring matching process, allowing you to quickly match your participants on mass.

Based on Next Level Mentoring's experience, mentoring software starts to become cost effective when you have a mentoring program of greater than 100 participants or you are intending to run multiple mentoring programs throughout the year such that the subscription fees are spread across the programs.

However, if you are looking to start your first mentoring program or are just intending to run one program each year then there isn’t any need to get mentoring software.

Our standard mentoring package has 2 prices; one for up to 15 mentoring pairs and one for up to 25 mentoring pairs. This factors in the time for managing the full program, matching the participant and assisting each individual as needed.


3 - Duration of the program

This variable does not affect the standard costs.

Regardless of the duration of your program you will still have the same number of sessions in line with the number of participants in the program. Whether your program runs for 6 months or 12 months, the development costs remain the same.

This doesn't take into account the cost to the company for the participant’s time in the program. An extra 6 months of mentoring equates to around 9 hrs of each participants time using our recommended 1.5 hrs per session. You should see this as a very good trade-off for 6 more mentoring sessions.

Our standard mentoring package can either be 6 months or 12 months.

If you are running a pilot we recommend 6 months.


4 - Location of the program.

This variable affects the standard costs.

Next Level Mentoring is located in Perth, Western Australia. If your company is based around the Perth area then there is no costs for attending any in-person meetings as these are included in our standard mentoring program costs.

If you are not located near the Perth area but are fine with using video meetings to run the sessions then there are no additional costs.

If you are not located near Perth but feel there is benefit in NLM attending some of the key sessions in-person (i.e. the kick-off and/or the close-out ceremony) then this will be additional to the standard cost of the program.

The additional travel is charged at the cost+20% and travel time of $125 per hour. up to a maximum of $1000 per day.

For example, an in-person attendance at a program kick-off in Brisbane, Adelaide or Sydney would cost roughly 2500 AUD in travel costs (taxis x 4, flights, 1 night hotel, food and drinks) + 2000 AUD in travel (2 days). These costs naturally need to be factored into your program.

Our standard package assumes no travel outside a 20km radius from the Perth CBD.


5 - Location of the participants.

This variable affects the standard costs.

If you participants are in various locations around the country or the world, then you have timezones and travel to contend with. This may require running multiple sessions to ensure everyone is getting the same training and information on the program because consistency is crucial for a good mentoring program. 

The use of video-calls helps connect people who cannot attend the in-person event and since video conferences are now common practice, we do not see a real difference between in-person and virtual attendance.

Not only do we provided live training sessions for the mentees and mentors, we also provide a program subscription to our online mentoring training portal. This allows your program participants access to all our training and guidance regardless time or where they are located.

Our standard 15 pair mentoring program package assumes:

  • 2x live mentoring training sessions + access to NLMs online mentoring training portal for all participants.
  • 1x kick-off,
  • 2x mid-session catch up (1 for mentees, and 1 for mentors),
  • 1x close out ceremony.

Our standard 25 pair mentoring program package assumes:

  • 2x live mentoring training sessions + access to NLMs online mentoring training portal for all participants.
  • 1x kick-off,
  • 4x mid-session catch up (2 options for mentees, and 2 options for mentors),
  • 1x close out ceremony.


6 - Work types / schedules of your participants.

This variable affects the standard costs.

If your participants are working in a shift pattern (i.e. fly-in fly-out or rostered workers) or are mainly part-time, then you may need to run multiple sessions and events such that every participant gets the chance to attend.

You will probably not get everyone attending every session but you want to ensure at least 80% attend to ensure consistency. You can record the sessions such that those that cannot attend can watch it later, but experience shows that only a small percentage of people view recordings post-session.

Again, video calls and the online mentoring training portal can help participants access the content at a suitable time. This will minimise the administration of the program.

Our standard mentoring program package assumes that your participants can attend the various sessions (training, kick-off, mid-program pulse check and close out ceremony).


7 - Mentoring matching process

This variable affects the standard costs.

There are multiple ways you can match your mentoring pairs dependant on how you set-up your mentoring program. These are put in order of cost, cheapest to most expensive. 

  1. The mentee gets given 4 mentors that matches their desires and ranks them in preference (NLM's preferred option)
  2. The company does the matching based on the mentees desires and the company's judgement.
  3. The program runs a speed dating process where the mentee gets to meet several mentors and then decide their favourite.
  4. The mentee gets access to all mentors and choses which one they want (normally in a first come, first served basis)

The mentoring matching is decided during the planning phase and you can mix and match as required.

Option 1 is NLMs preferred option as it gives the mentee ownership of the matching process which will increase the likelihood of a successful mentoring journey.

Option 2 requires more time as you need to ensure each mentee only has one mentor. Based on experience, there is a lot of time spent matching and re-matching until you think you have got it right. The greater the number of participants, the longer the process takes due to the increased number of permeations. 

Option 3 requires attendance from almost all participants so will only be suitable for small programs where participant attendance can be guaranteed. It will also require another 1/2 day for the kick-off. However, it is a lot of fun and is a guaranteed way to inject energy into the kick-off.

Option 4 probably requires mentoring software or equivalent to ensure the mentees have easy access to the mentor’s profiles and can perform real-time selection. If you are deciding to have a company-wide mentoring program, where mentors and mentees can sign up and be matched at any point, then this would be the best option for you.

Our standard mentoring program package assumes option 1 is used. It is the simplest and most effective means for matching your mentoring pairs in a stand-alone mentoring program.


8 - Training and guidance

This variable does not affect the standard costs.

A mentoring program without training and guidance, is like dropping your participants into a random city without a map and asking them to find the train station. Some may have been there before and go directly to it, others may get there after a few wrong turns, and some may never get there at all.

You want all your participants (mentees and mentors) to have the right amount of knowledge and guidance about mentoring before they start such that they know what to expect and what to do. Not only does this ensure a base level of knowledge for each participant but it helps with their confidence (especially first-time mentors) and maximise the effectiveness of each individual mentoring journey.

At NLM, we provide both live training sessions as well as access to our online mentoring training portal such that all participants can get access to training. The mentor specific online training portal also has a fun quiz for the mentors to reinforce the learnings on what their role is (and is not). 

We repeat key lessons during the kick-off as a further reminder before they start their mentoring journey.

Our standard mentoring programs pricing includes 2x live mentoring training (1 for mentees and 1 for mentors) and full access to NLMs online mentoring training portal to all participants.

You may need additional live training sessions if your program is larger than 25 mentoring pairs, or not all participants can attend the sessions due to work schedules. Each additional session costs $350.

Note: if you already have a mentoring program and are just looking for training you can purchase

  • 1 hour training sessions for your mentees and mentors at $350 pers session
  • Annual subscription to our online mentoring training portal for unlimited users at $1500 for NFPs and charities or $2500 for businesses and companies.



9 – Managing the mentoring program.

This variable does not affect the standard costs

At Next Level Mentoring, we ensure your program is managed correctly from the planning phase right through to the evaluation phase. During the planning and establish phase, we recommend meeting once a week with the relevant stakeholders to discuss. Once the program has entered the execute phase and after the kick-off session we recommend reducing the frequency of meetings down to an average of once or twice a month.

Our standard mentoring program pricing includes for as many meetings that our client needs. Our aim is to ensure the program is managed smoothly for our clients and would prefer having a meeting to discuss any topic rather than not addressing it because the pricing only had a limited amount of meetings.


10 – Location of the various live sessions

This variable affects the standard costs.

Do you have the facilities to comfortably host a 50 participant mentoring program?

Would you prefer to run the sessions offsite to increase the prestige or credibility of the program?

Where you host the various sessions for your mentoring program will affect the cost of your program.

This variable is really down to personal choice and budget as the delivered content & learnings are the same regardless. You know your people and what they would expect from a program like this.

Our standard mentoring program pricing assumes that our client’s are responsible for organising and paying for the various event locations.


11 - Content of the various sessions.

This variable does not affect the standard costs.

In your mentoring program you will have a blend of your company’s current and future leaders. During your live sessions, you may want to take advantage of having this engaged group of leaders together by rolling out other company strategic initiatives or provide additional leadership speakers etc.

Our standard mentoring program includes the following sessions and their average duration.

  • Kick-off; 2 hours
  • Training sessions; 1 hour
  • Pulse check sessions; 1.5 hours
  • Close-out ceremony 2 hours.

There is no additional cost if you want to extend these times to add additional content to the audience.


12 - Feedback

This variable does not affect the standard costs.

You want to gain feedback from the participants at various stages of the program to know what is working and what may need to be tweaked or stopped.

Our recommendation for seeking feedback is you:

  1. Have a feedback survey 1 month into the program to get feedback on the start of the program including the matching process adopted.
  2. Run an in-person mid-program pulse check session, 1 for the mentors and 1 for the mentees. The pulse check is like an enhanced feedback session where you have all the mentees or mentors in groups answering key questions. The pulse check also allows the participants to share best practices with each other.
  3. Have a final feedback survey after the close out ceremony to get the final feedback from the participants before the Evaluations stage.

Our standard mentoring program pricing includes the 2 feedback surveys and pulse check sessions (2 x for 15 pair program, 4 x for 25 pair program).

If you have more than 25 mentoring pairs in the group then you may need to run several mid-session pulse checks to avoid having too many people at the same time. Each additional pulse session would cost $450.


What is the costs of a Next Level Mentoring program for your business?

You should now be able to answer that.

But as a reminder our standard costs are:

  • Up to 15 mentoring pairs (15 mentees and 15 mentors): $15,000 AUD + GST
  • Up to 25 mentoring pairs (25 mentees and 25 mentors): $25,000 AUD + GST


Want to know more about business mentoring programs?

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