Mentorship in a Time of Need
Chapter Leadership Brief 01.13.2023
By Susan Shapiro, AFP-NYC Mentorship Committee Co-Chair
President, Shapiro Associates
As the sector transitions to a generation of leaders that are younger and more ethnically and racially diverse, AFP’s Mentorship Program provides a singular opportunity for these new leaders to increase their fundraising capacity, working with experienced fundraisers in a supportive environment.
The Mentorship Program is designed to help participants clarify their career vision, develop new skills, and gain confidence in the skills they already have. The 2023 Program will be in full swing when it kicks off in late January, with twelve sets of mentors and mentees that have been matched, based on mentors’ skill sets and mentees’ preferences and goals. Take a peek at the 2023 Mentorship Look-Book on the AFP- NYC website to see the full complement of this year’s participants.
Additionally, in this year’s recruitment, we were committed to ensuring that mentors, mentees, and committee members were a member of one of the following traditionally underrepresented communities: people of color; LGBTQ; women; staff at organizations with annual budgets < $5M.
To continue to build the program’s leadership in cultivating and nurturing the next generation of fundraising professionals, the Mentorship Committee made several enhancements to add greater efficiency and serve more of the sector’s fundraisers. For 2023, the program was redesigned to accommodate a two-cohort model, with each cohort of mentors and mentees meeting for five months; the second cohort is scheduled to start in July. To facilitate collaboration and learning, a mid-year convening is scheduled for each cohort to share challenges, outcomes, and opportunities.
Whether volunteering as a Mentor or applying as a Mentee, participants report multiple personal and professional benefits from their engagement. For some, it’s gaining the confidence needed to pursue a new role or providing a space outside the office to further develop their skill set as a fundraiser. For others, it’s sharing years of experience, strategies, and tactics that can benefit someone newer in the industry.
Stay tuned throughout the year for invitations to apply or volunteer for the Program.