Defenders of Potential

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley helps children realize their potential and build their futures. We nurture children and strengthen communities. We couldn't do any of it without you.

About Us

For more than 30 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As a donor supported volunteer organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 7 through 18, throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois. We develop positive friendships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.


All youth achieve their full potential


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

Positive Youth Outcomes

Big Brothers Big Sisters is recognized at the local, state and national levels for our quality, safety and performance.  Our mentoring model focuses on the three “Cs”- confidence, competence and caring.  We want young adults to: 1) feel positive about themselves and have a sense of hope for their future, 2) be aware of and engaged in positive supports and resources within the community, and 3) have healthy relationships with their family, peers and adults.     

Through strong one-to-one relationships, youth achieve:

• Educational success and motivation

• Avoidance of risky behavior and engagement in positive activities

• Social and emotional development with position relationships and compassion toward others.

Affiliations and Standards of Excellence

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley is an independent affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the nation's oldest and largest youth mentoring organization.  For over 110 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has implemented, developed, and perfected its unique, evidence-based professionally-supported one-to-one mentoring model across the country.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of America provides us with:

• National standards, policies, and procedures focused on child safety

• Research and program development supported by the nation’s leading youth mentoring experts

• Evaluation systems and technology

• Nationwide best practices shared by over 300 affiliates across the country

• Branding and collaborative support to drive capacity and resources.



Since 2016, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley has been recognized as a “Gold Standard" Agency by the Nationwide Leadership Council of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.  Winning agencies are recognized for outstanding performance, including high retention rates, high quality case management, and financial stability.  This award identifies the top 5% of over 300 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies nationwide.

Quality Standard Agency

In 2015, Big Brothers big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley was first recognized for it quality performance management and performance by receiving the Quality Standard Award.  This award focuses on the program implementation and performance side of the organization.  Receiving this award placed BBBSMV in the top 25% of affiliates within the Big Brothers Big Sisters network in the areas of recruitment, enrollment, match support, and match retention.

Guidestar is an information service specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies.  Its database provides information on 2.5 million organizations.

GuideStar was one of the first central sources of information on U.S. nonprofits and is the world's largest source of information about nonprofit organizations. GuideStar also serves to verify that a recipient organization is established and that donated funds go where the donor intended for individuals looking to give.

In 2013, GuideStar invited nonprofits to supplement the public information that is available from the IRS.  GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles implement three seals based on the information a nonprofit provides in its profile: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley is a Gold Standard organization within Guidestar.  Transparency and openness are standards at the core of our organization.  To view our rating and disclosures, visit

Mentor-  The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is the unifying champion for expanding quality youth mentoring relationships in the United State.  For more than 25 years, MENTOR has served the mentoring field by providing a public voice; developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide; and promoting quality for mentoring through evidence-based standards, innovative resreach and essential tools.  MENTOR has developed and supports a national collective of affiliates that provide regional, state and local leadership and infrastructure necessary to support the expansion of quality mentoring relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley is a partner with MENTOR at the federal level and both the Iowa and Illinois Mentoring Partnerships at the state level.


Other Ways to Get Involved

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Whether it’s as a donor, event participant, being a Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple, a community advocate, or as a family member, we welcome your involvement and support.

Ignite the potential of a child

When you support Big Brothers Big Sisters, you ignite the potential in a child in our community!