Building Your Board of Advisors: Effective Career Mentoring

We talk about how mentoring is the key to a successful fundraising career, but we don’t actually teach how to do it. That changes today.

Two Businesswomen Working On Computer In OfficeIn leading the 2017 AFP Leadership Academy session Building Your Board of Advisors: Effective Career Mentoring, Kenneth C. Frisch and Benjamin Mohler explore effective ways professionals can engage in mentoring as part of their personal fundraising toolkit and how chapters can engage members in a formal mentoring program.

Career Mentoring Challenges

  • Mentoring is undervalued and underutilized as a method for professional development.
  • Mentoring is seen as something for the mentees, not also for the mentors.
  • If you’re the average of your five closes friends, shouldn’t our professional networks mirror this?
  • For the sake and future of the profession, reinvestment is critical and should be intentionally used by leaders (both up and downstream).

Professional Advantages to Career Mentoring

For Mentors

  • Reinvestment in the success of the next generation of fundraising professionals
  • Gain insight on trends and professional innovation emerging from new professionals.
  • Know your role: coach, facilitator, advisor, sounding board, learner

For Mentees

  • Conduct thoughtful self-assessment to decide where can you grow.
  • Gain perspective from seasoned professionals to guide career path and growth plan
  • Know your role: learner, doing, teaching

For AFP Chapters

  • Can increase membership rolls
  • Provides value and new opportunities for existing membership
  • Engages seasoned professionals beyond chapter meetings

Helpful Resources to Start a Chapter Mentoring Program

About Benjamin Mohler

Benjamin Mohler, CFRE, ACFRE has a keen interest in understanding the connection between culture and the practice of philanthropy. His experiences working with international nonprofit organizations, extensive international travel, together with his graduate work at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and leadership roles with local nonprofits combine to produce his expertise in this area. He’s also a big baseball fan.

Mohler is the Assistant Vice President for Major and Planned Gifts at Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to his current role, he held key roles with The William States Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Cedarville University, and The Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Advanced Certified Fundraising Professional (ACFRE), and serves AFP at an international level, including his current role chairing the publishing committee for the AFP Fund Development Series.

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