You are likely to need to use some specialised software tools to deliver each stage of your mentoring programme.

Tools you will need

Registration forms

You will need a way to allow mentors and mentees to register for your programme. If you are using our matching software, you will also need a way to convert that data into a standardised data structure in CSV format.

Microsoft Forms and Google Forms – one of which is likely provided by your employer – are suitable for this purpose. Our guidance on creating registration forms provides an example registration form using Google Forms.

If you want to design a more complex registration process, you might want to consider dedicated software like Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, or TypeForm. The free versions of these tools are unlikely to have all the features you need, so you should be prepared to pay for these tools if you choose to use them.

Matching software

Our software can help with the most complex and time-intensive part of your mentoring programme: the matching process. This software is provided free-of-charge under an open source license and you can run the software locally on your own device.

At the moment, you need to be able to install software on your device to use our mentor matching software. We are currently working to put our matching software online so you can use it through a web browser from any device. This may come at a small cost. We will update our guidance documents to tell you how to use the software when it is available.

You do not have to use our software if you don’t want to, but it can save significant time and money. It takes minutes to match hundreds of participants using our software; the equivalent task could take a person up to a week of full-time, manual work.


At multiple points throughout your programme, you will need to send emails to all participants. Many of these emails will need to be customised for the specific recipient: for example, when you email matches to mentees, each mentee’s email will need to contain their unique matches.

It is possible to use common email software to achieve this, like Microsoft Outlook’s mail merge functionality.

Instead of using a common email software, you could use a dedicated transactional email provider like MailChimp, ZohoCampaigns or MailerLite. These software providers allow you to use them free of charge up to certain thresholds.

Organisations in the public sector may be able to use GOV.UK Notify; a free-to-use bulk email service provided by the Government Digital Service.

You might want to use a dedicated transactional email provider if:

  1. your common email software doesn’t have some kind of mail merge functionality
  2. your mentoring programme has a very large number of participants
  3. you have problems with your emails being marked as SPAM

Regardless of the tool you use, you might want to set up a dedicated email address for your programme – something like ‘’, instead of using your own personal email.


If you intend to use surveys as part of your programme evaluation, you will need a survey tool to collect the data. Again, Microsoft Forms and Google Forms – one of which is likely provided by your employer – are suitable for this purpose, but you could use dedicated survey tools if you felt it was necessary.

General office software

You are also likely to need general office software to support the delivery of your programme, like a word processor, spreadsheet tool and presentation software. Any software you want to use is probably fine.


You may be able to rely on free-to-use digital services, or in-house solutions – particularly for small programmes. It is feasible to run an entire programme only using a commodity office product, like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.

You might need to pay for additional software for larger programmes. Many popular software providers give you a limited amount of free of charge use before charging for larger use.

We provide an open-source piece of software to assist with matching mentors and mentees. You can use this software free of charge.

Data protection

You will need to make your own assessment of the data protection risks involved with using any third-party software as part of your programme. You will also need to consider whether you have a legal basis to collect and process the data using these tools. These considerations will feed into the data and privacy policy for your programme.