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 is the principal consultant and director of GivingThree LLC (a consulting firm for the nonprofit sector). He is a fundraising expert with broad knowledge and experience. However, his specialties include board development, strategic planning, and career coaching.

Additionally, he is Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). In this role, he oversees the KCTCS Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement and the KCTCS Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs. With 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses, KCTCS is the Commonwealth’s largest postsecondary institution. He also serves as executive director of the KCTCS Foundation, Inc.

Mohler most recently served as assistant vice president for development at Eastern Kentucky University. His background also includes key advancement roles at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Cedarville University, and The University of Texas at Austin.

He earned a master’s degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Cedarville University. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has earned the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential. He currently serves on the ACFRE Board.

Mohler was named to Charlotte Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" in 2013 and the AFP Bluegrass Chapter honored him with their Exemplary Service Award in 2015.

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