The Case for Mentoring: Now More Than Ever
By: David McGoy, CFRE
Founder and President, ASSIST Development Consulting
As if fundraising wasn’t already challenging enough!
First, a once-in-a-century pandemic swept across the globe.
Then, shelter in place requirements turned the city’s robust spring benefit season to a halt before it ever got started.
After that, racial tensions about overzealous policing reached a boiling point, resulting in massive protests throughout the world.
Now, uncertainty about the economy and the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 in the near future are adding even more guesswork to the already harrowing process of revenue forecasting and fundraising planning.
As we embark into the great unknown of the Age of Socially-Distant Fundraising During a Massive Economic Downturn and Widespread Civil Unrest, fundraisers need each other more than ever. Facing a lot more questions than answers, we need to lean on each other for ideas, strategies, resources, networking, peer learning and support. Most of all, emerging fundraising professionals need mentors who can help them to navigate the challenges ahead.
Mentoring is a proven way to build skills, promote job retention and professional advancement - all things that are very necessary in the fundraising profession. This is why the AFP-NYC Mentorship Committee has been working to build its capacity to respond to the demand for mentoring opportunities. Under the leadership of Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE, an NYC-AFP Board Member and Mentoring Committee Chair, the Mentorship Program is undergoing a formal relaunch process.
Beginning in 2020, the committee conducted a survey of past and current program members and engaged in a listening tour with over twenty other AFP chapters offering mentorship opportunities around the country. After the data was synthesized and analyzed, the committee developed a plan that will enhance the chapter’s mentoring program and provide more meaningful engagements for both mentors and mentees moving forward. Here are some of the changes that you can look for from the chapter’s mentoring program:
- A structured, cohort model that will recruit and select a fixed number of mentors and mentees each year.
- A formal screening and scoring process to facilitate better mentor-mentee matching.
- A commitment to the chapter’s IDEA principles, to ensure representation across identities.
“I am thrilled to collaborate with my fellow committee members on the Mentorship Program relaunch. I am confident this recalibration will offer AFP-NYC chapter members an opportunity to develop as professionals and will result in a robust cohort of consummate professionals better prepared to tackle our city’s greatest challenges.” says AFP-NYC Mentorship Program chair, Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE
Be on the lookout for updates on the relaunch of the chapter’s mentoring program in the fall. In the meantime, if you have questions, would like to sponsor this program, or are interested in getting involved in the committee’s efforts -- as a mentor, mentee or committee member – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.