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AFP Mentoring Tool Kit

January 28, 2014

An AFP sponsored mentoring program at the chapter level is one of the benefits that members value the most.  It is important to be clear from the very beginning that a mentoring relationship is about personal development for the mentee, it is not an opportunity for the mentee to have a senior fundraising professional help them with their specific work related tasks.

Chapters of all sizes offer mentoring programs and the scope of them differ based upon the chapter's capacity and resources.  Included in this document is a ten step process for implementing a mentoring program and links to examples of programs that are being offered by other chapters.

Step 1

Identify a Mentoring Program Chair.  The recommendation is that it is either a chapter board member or someone that reports to a chapter board member in the volunteer structure.  Most chapters have the mentoring program fall under the Membership chair or the Education Chair and it is up to the chapter to decide which makes more sense for your particular needs.  The important point is that the person responsible for the mentoring program has reporting line to the chapter board.

Step 2

Budget appropriately within the chapter to fund the mentoring program.  Here are some items to think about as you develop your budget.

  • Initial meeting at which mentors and mentees meet, receive a framework about the mentoring program and discuss the goals of the pairing.  (i.e. Cost of location, food, AV, etc.)
  • Speaker on how a mentoring relationship should work.
  • Launch party or social gathering part way through the year
  • Materials to be developed and shared (e.g. developing a kit for participants to review.  Most of it can be on-line, but there may be some material that needs to be printed.)
  • Recognition materials when mentoring relationship has concluded.  E.g. Does the chapter want to send each participant some kind of certificate or plaque recognizing their involvement?

Step 3

Communicate via email and at podium opportunities, promote the Mentoring Program broadly to the Chapter's membership. Advise the members that you are looking for both mentees and potential mentors.  One of the stumbling blocks that chapters have encountered is that they don't get enough people interested in the program at either the mentor or mentee level.  Some suggestions from chapters to continually get the word out about the program is to share information about the mentoring program during new member outreach calls that your membership committee should be doing to new members.  Another chapter actually used their Fundraising Day event to recruit a lot of new mentors because the chapter president stood at the podium and asked senior professionals in the room to be mentors in front of the entire audience.  It was hard for them to say no.

Step 4

Applications need to be circulated to the membership for mentees and posted on the Chapter web site. Decide on a deadline for applications.  The chapter needs to decide if you are going to have one or two deadlines per year where you will accept applications or if they will be on a rolling basis.

On the application, have a place where the mentee can indicate three measurable goals that they would like to accomplish during the mentoring arrangement.  This is helpful in identifying mentors for the person.

Sample applications

Step 5

Strike a "matching and monitoring" subcommittee from the Board of Directors, to review applications from mentees, to identify and enlist potential mentors, and to make the matches.  If you have one or two deadlines per year for applications, this subcommittee would meet that often, whereas if you have a rolling application process, they will meet more often.

Identify and enlist mentors from the AFP membership and from the Board of Directors, based on the needs identified by the applicants. 

Make the matches, and notify the mentors (first) of whom their mentee will be.  Some points to remember as matches are being made include looking at the type of organization that the two people work for and geography.

Make the best match that you can, but also remember that a match can always be changed if it isn't working for either party.  Develop a process for how either party can notify the chapter if they would like to request that the mentoring relationship be terminated within the agreed upon period.

Notify mentees of who their mentor will be.

Step 6

Kick Off the match by sending all participants in the program (mentors and mentees) with information on their match and details of how the program works, activities they can do together, etc. Encourage them to get together immediately and then monthly.

NOTE: A Special Offer for AFP Canadian Chapter Mentoring Programs, On Purpose Leadership has generously donated the use of an online assessment tool for the mentee to fill out.  It provides a profile report which will serve you in your mentorship relationship as well as your other professional and personal roles.  If a Canadian Chapter is interested in including this profile report as one of the tools in your mentoring program, please contact the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada at cdnfoundation@afpnet.org

Step 7

Host a special social event "launch" of the program and invite all mentors/mentees as well as Board members. Make the event social but allow for guided interaction so that participants can get further information about the program.

This concept works best if the chapter has one or two designated deadlines throughout the year for mentoring applications.  If the chapter chooses a rolling application process, the launch concept is not as effective.

Step 8

Every month, email information (tips, techniques and reminders) to mentors and mentees. Ask them to submit a preliminary written report to the program coordinator at the 6 month mark. The Mentoring Coordinator should keep in regular contact with participants remind them to keep moving the relationship forward.

Step 9

Evaluate the program at the end of the year.  Create an evaluation form for both parties to fill out so the chapter gathers the feedback as to what is working and what is not.  Make it mandatory that both parties fill out the evaluation.

Sample questionnaire at year-end

Step 10

Conclude the mentoring relationship at the end of the year with a formal letter letting both parties know the obligation is completed.  This is an important step.  In some cases the relationship will have lasted the entire year, but one or the other of the parties would like it to end and this gives them the easy out in doing so.  In many cases, the relationship will continue but at that point it is up to the two individuals to decide if they would like that to happen.

Don Hardy Fund for Mentoring

For AFP Chapters in Canada, there is an endowment fund available through the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada to sponsor mentoring relationships.  Each chapter in Canada is eligible to apply for a $500 grant per year to help fund the program.  Contact the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada at cdnfoundation@afpnet.org

Links to Existing Canadian Chapter Mentoring Programs and examples of application forms, messaging used to promote the program, etc.

 

Organizational Mentoring Makeover

 



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