Peer Mentoring Update in eDevelopments

AFP Chicago appreciates the sponsorship of this program from the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. Did you know that North Park offers a tuition discount to AFP members?

Winter 2018

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program provides an outstanding benefit to newcomers in our industry: seasoned professionals or “Mentors” guide “Protégés” in career planning, provide ideas and advice on specific areas of development work, open doors for job interviews, broaden their professional networks, and generally function as protégés’ private cheerleaders. Arguably, the Peer Mentoring program is the single most valuable benefit of membership in AFP Chicago for development pros early in their career.

The benefits are not exclusive to rookies, however.  Ask anyone who has served as a Mentor during the 10+ years AFP-Chicago has offered the program, and they will tell you what an extraordinary experience it was for them as well – and not only for the good feelings elicited by serving the profession and helping newbies learn the ropes. As lifelong learners, we also learn from our protégés during the year-long program, because the relationship that’s forged is a two-way street.

And speaking of relationships, long term friendships are often a happy outcome of the Peer Mentoring program, providing yet another reason to participate.  Just ask long-time Chair Sherre Jennings Cullen, who was paired with Melanie Frazier in (year) as Mentor:

Melanie Frazier was my protégé 18 years ago, and she has been a dear friend ever since!  We still call each other for advice and I always tell people that we are like family now!

Or Melanie Dykstra, whose dear friend, Laura Curley, was her protégé in 2013:

“After a very productive Peer/Mentoring year with Laura, we sort of lost track of the fact that we were ‘finished’ and just kept meeting.  Though our regular breakfast visits usually involve work talk, they always morph into our personal lives as well.”

The spring 2018 class begins in March, and the deadline to apply is Friday, February 23, 2018.  This is a terrific opportunity for anyone who participates, and it’s free!  Click here to apply today!


Winter 2017

“More than I imagined”

By Katie Roth, CFRE

As 2017 begins, there is no better time to refresh your fundraising skills, build new professional connections, and jumpstart your career.

One of the best ways to accomplish these goals and many more is to join AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program. If you’re not familiar with AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program, as a free benefit of membership AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program pairs Protégés (fundraising professionals with less than 5 years of experience) with a Mentor (a seasoned fundraising professional) for one year.

While there are many benefits from participating in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program, we would like to share a couple with you experienced by a current Peer Mentoring Match between protégé Sarah van Loon, Assistant Director at AJC Chicago and mentor Morgan Henington, Chief Development Officer at Holy Name Cathedral.

When asked about her experience in the program, Sarah said, “When I applied to be a protégé through AFP Chicago, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I was new to front-line development and I desperately needed advice and guidance. I was matched up with Morgan Henington, and not only is she a fantastic person, she’s been an incredible resource, sounding board, and friend. I’ve been able to go to her for things big and small, and she cuts right through to get to the heart of the issue and recommend a solid course of action. I’ve found that I have more confidence, a better rapport with my boss and the senior-level management within my organization, and I’m being given more opportunities because Morgan encourages me to speak up and offer my ideas. This mentorship has been so much more than what I imagined when I was filling out the application last year, and I am a better person and fundraiser because of it. Thank you so much for this opportunity!”

Morgan is also benefiting from the match and as Morgan says, “I have had great experiences with being a mentor before, but this year’s match with Sarah has been exceptional. She is bright, energetic, and it’s been so fun getting to know her. Even cooler than that is the mix between the two of us working for faith-based organizations – one Jewish and one Catholic. That’s just one benefit of AFP – being involved gets you out of your usual circle and introduces you to different points of view, though we all share similar challenges in fundraising and career development. It’s a great thing to support each other and make a friend along the way!”

We hope you will consider joining the program. Applications to be considered for the Spring Peer Mentoring Class are accepted any time before Friday, February 24. Space is limited so submit your application now.


 

December 2016

Making a Difference
By Katie Roth, CFRE

 “If you’ve ever had a mentor, you know it makes a difference in your life and career.  But, if you haven’t had one, then you need to break the cycle,” says AFP mentor, Charles L. Katzenmeyer, Vice President, Advancement for The Field Museum.  He participates in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program, where a protégé with less than 5 years of fundraising experience is paired with a seasoned professional for one year.

Charles believes mentoring is an essential element of professional development for fundraisers.  Further, he says, “AFP's Peer Mentoring Program allows professionals to explore new ideas and learn best practices without having to change jobs.  In this way both participants benefit the fundraising community by promoting innovation and stability across the profession.”

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is free to AFP Chicago members and is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. To learn more about AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring program or to apply for the spring class, please visit http://www.afpchicago.org/peer-mentoring or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra ([email protected] or [email protected]). 


 

October 2016

Investment in your Future
By Katie Roth

Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned professional, you know it’s important to invest in your future.

One of the best ways to do this, completely FREE with your AFP Membership, is to join AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program.

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program pairs Protégés (fundraising professionals with less than 5 years of experience) with a Mentor (a seasoned fundraising professional) for one year.

When asked about the program, Director of Development at Urban Gateways, Sherre Jennings Cullen, CFRE says “As the Chair of AFP's Peer Mentoring Committee, I have seen the many benefits mentoring offers protégés.  In the end, just like fundraising...it all comes down to relationships.  If the protégé really takes advantage of the opportunity, having a lifelong support system will result from spending a year with his/her mentor.  I know I think of many of my past protégés as family.  I stay in touch and offer advice and connections whenever I can help.  I've provided job leads, recommendations, introductions, resume edits, funding possibilities annual appeal proofing, and event suggestions (Just last month, one friend increased her profits significantly after implementing a few things that have worked for me in the past.)  I hope potential protégés think of the Peer Mentoring program as an investment in themselves and their careers.  They will benefit long after the official program ends!”

Applications to be considered for the Fall Peer Mentoring Class are accepted any time before Friday, September 23. For questions or more information, please visit http://www.afpchicago.org/peer-mentoring or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra ([email protected] or [email protected]). 


 

June 2016

Partnering with AFP’s Top Peer Mentoring Program

North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management (SBNM) sponsors AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program each year to encourage the development of fundraising professionals. It’s a perfect match. SBNM’s mission is to prepare students for lives of significance and service. The close engagement of mentors and protégés connects very well to this mission.

North Park University has been consistently named in U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings for more than two decades. North Park is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. SBNM is also accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and its nonprofit management programs follow the guidelines of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council. The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management is a part of SBNM and provides a wide range of non-credit workshops and conferences for professionals in the field.

SBNM Dean Wesley E. Lindahl has been a mentor in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program numerous times. He states, “I truly believe in the AFP peer mentoring concept. Each time I’ve worked with a protégé, I’ve come away with a long-lasting relationship that extends my network. I value highly the time spent to help develop the professional careers of AFP members.”

SBNM is pleased to continue offering a 40 percent tuition grant for all graduate programs. This includes the master of nonprofit administration (MNA) program and fundraising certificate, along with the business-oriented MBA and three other master’s degrees in leadership, higher education, and human resources. Find out more about SBNM’s programs at www.northpark.edu/sbnm/grad.

Eric Johnson, MSLOC, CFRE, AFP Chicago’s Board President and Director of Development at Illinois Network of Charter Schools shares his appreciation for the Peer Mentoring Program by saying, “AFP Chicago is proud that our Peer Mentoring Program continues to serve the needs of our members – both emerging and seasoned professionals – and to serve as a format for organizations across the country to model.  We look forward to strengthening the fundraising profession through the Program in partnership with North Park University.”


 

May 2016

Happy New (Fiscal) Year
By Katie Roth, CFRE

For many of us, May and June mark the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of the next. As you begin to plan for the next fiscal year, we hope you will consider including AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program as part of your professional development.

In case you aren’t familiar with this opportunity, as a free benefit of membership AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program pairs Protégés (fundraising professionals with less than 5 years of experience) with a Mentor (a seasoned fundraising professional) for one year. Applications to be considered for the Fall Peer Mentoring Class are accepted any time before Friday, September 23. Space is limited so submit your application now.

For questions or more information, please visit http://www.afpchicago.org/peer-mentoring or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra ([email protected] or [email protected]). 


 

April 2016

A Record-Breaking Season
By Katie Roth, CFRE

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee matched more protégés and mentors this spring than ever before! On March 23rd, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee had the pleasure of matching 19 protégés with their own mentor who will help them build their professional networks and develop their skills and knowledge.

Participants come from all sectors of the nonprofit community including: health care; children and family services; arts and culture; advocacy; religion; science; museums; foundations; primary, secondary, and higher education; and consulting.

Members of the March 2016 Class are shown below.

March 2016 Peer Mentoring Class

Please visit our website to learn about the benefits of AFP-Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program and to join the next class of protégés and mentors, which begins in October 2016.

AFP Chicago thanks the Chicago Council of Global Affairsfor hosting and sponsoring the kick-off meeting.  Ranked the #1 Think Tank to Watch worldwide, the Council on Global Affairs is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business and governments engage the world.


January 2016 

“New Year, New You”

By Katie Roth, CFRE

Is one of your new year resolutions related to your career?

If so, AFP Chicago is the perfect partner to help you accomplish your 2016 goals.  As a member of AFP Chicago, you have access to a variety of tools, resources, and hand-on experiences to help you.  One of these opportunities is AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program, which pairs protégés (fundraising professionals with less than 5 years of experience) with a mentor (a seasoned fundraising professional).

What are the benefits? In a recent survey to peer mentoring participants, the following were listed as the top three benefits:

  • Professional Development. Protégés and Mentors bring real-life issues, topics, and projects they are working on to their one-on-one discussions.
  • Career Guidance. Protégés and Mentors often find that the program provides them the support they need to help navigate a new career path.
  • Broadened Network. Protégés and Mentors always come away from the match knowing at least one more person in the industry.

To get a jump start on your new year resolutions, we encourage you to submit an application for the Spring Peer Mentoring Class by February 26. 

To learn more about the benefits of the Peer Mentoring Program or to complete an application, please go to our webpage or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra if you are interested in participating ([email protected] or [email protected]).


 December 2015

“Invaluable Access to a Professional Network”
By Katie Roth, CFRE

Whether you’re new to the city, industry or even just trying to gain more fundraising knowledge, having someone who can provide you support and access to a network of professionals is key.

Because it can be challenging to build your network on your own, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee is here to help protégés (fundraising professionals with less than 5 years of experience) by pairing them with a mentor (a seasoned fundraising professional) to provide guidance and support.

The match between mentor Sherre Jennings Cullen, CFRE, Director of Development at Urban Gateways and protégé Charles Palys, Associate Director with CCS is one of many success stories where a protégé had the support and resources needed to advance in their career.  As Charles describes it, “The AFP mentoring program provided me invaluable access to one of the regions most experienced, knowledgeable, and influential fundraising professionals. Over the term of my mentorship, I had numerous opportunities to expand my professional network and received extraordinary support and feedback on my work. My mentor, Sherre, engaged me in thoughtful discussion about my career and guided me to my current professional position. I heartily recommend the mentorship program to anyone early on in their fundraising careers.”

Mentors also receive benefits from their peer mentoring match.  As Sherre says, "It has been a pleasure watching Charles gain skills in development and confidence in using those skills.  Helping him make the connections that enabled him to secure a new position was great, but watching him thrive in the new position is the best reward a mentor could have!”

The Peer Mentoring Committee is now recruiting both protégés and mentors for the spring class. The deadline to be considered for the Spring Peer Mentoring Class is February 26.  To learn more about the benefits of the Peer Mentoring Program or to complete an application, please go to our webpage or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra if you are interested in participating ([email protected] or [email protected]).  


November 2015
15 Matches ready for Success
By Katie Roth, CFRE

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee is proud to announce another successful Mentoring Program Kick-Off event. On October 22nd, AFP Chicago’s Mentoring Committee had the pleasure of matching 15 protégés with their own mentor who will help them develop their skills and knowledge and achieve a new level of success!

Participants come from all sectors of the nonprofit community, including: health care; children and families; arts and culture; advocacy; homeless; mentoring; hunger; religion; foundations; primary, secondary, and higher education; and consulting.

Members of the mentoring class are in this photo.  Please visit our website to learn about the benefits of AFP Chicago’s Mentoring Program and to join the next class of protégés and mentors.

AFP Chicago appreciates North Park University’s sponsorship of their Mentoring Program.  North Park University is located on Chicago's north side and enrolls 3,200 students from around the country and the world.  North Park University has been a long-time supporter of AFP Chicago and even offers tuition discounts to AFP members. We continue to be extremely grateful for their generosity. 


October 2015
The Top Reasons to Apply to AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program
By Katie Roth, CFRE

As we all know, an AFP Chicago membership grants you access to great speakers, networking, and resources. As you may not know, it also provides you a chance to sharpen your skills with one-on-one coaching, mentoring, and support through AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program with no additional cost to you.

How it works?

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee matches protégés (fundraising professionals with less than 5 years of experience) with a mentor (a seasoned fundraising professional) for one year. Each match is provided a coach from the Peer Mentoring Committee to support the matches along the way.

Top reasons to Apply to the Peer Mentoring Program?

There are many reasons to apply, but the top reasons we hear from protégés, mentors, and committee members are:

  1. Connect with someone outside of your organization to share best practices and discuss specific obstacles and opportunities.
  2. Learn and share skills and fundraising practices.
  3. Meet new people in the fundraising industry.

To learn more about the benefits of the Peer Mentoring Program or to complete an application, please go to our webpage or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra if you are interested in participating ([email protected] or [email protected]).  


 



September 2015

“Expanded my Knowledge of the City’s Sector”
By Katie Roth, CFRE

“Expanded my knowledge of the city’s sector” is a common phrase among members and participants of AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program and was said recently by Peer Mentoring Protégé, Chantel Davis.

Chantel Davis, Individual Giving and Major Gifts Manager at LINK Unlimited Scholars
said, “As a fairly new development professional in Chicago, the AFP Peer Mentoring program helped expand my knowledge of the city’s sector as well as the people in it. A lot of this knowledge was provided through my mentor. She is in a position that I see myself in within the next few years so it was valuable to hear her experiences and gather her insight about different things in the nonprofit world. She also served as a resource and guide as I navigated the city looking for opportunities to strengthen my core skills and network with others. For this and more, I am grateful to have been a part of the AFP Peer Mentoring Program and look forward to encouraging others to take part in it.”

Mentor Nashmeen Moslehuddin, Director of Development, Midwest Region at CARE USA
also said, “As a former protégé having gone through AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program almost 6 years ago, I always appreciated how much I learned and what a great network of people I met through the program. It is so rewarding now to be on the other side and to be able to share some of my knowledge of the industry with my protégé who is new to the field and the city. It makes me want to strive to be better at what I do so that I can offer her more resources and advise. Moreover, observing her dedication, tenacity, and commitment to her work brings back my motivation to the work I do every day to put my all in it. I think it is a wonderfully symbiotic relationship that I hope many more can be a part of!”

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is a members-only benefit providing individualized training to advance the skills of those newer to the profession, transitioning to a new area of the field or looking for opportunities to grow in their fundraising career. For both mentors and protégés, this is an exceptional opportunity to share expertise, network with and learn from colleagues and ultimately, ensure the strength of Chicagoland's philanthropic community.

The deadline is almost here! To participate in the Fall Peer Mentoring Class, please submit your application by September 17. To learn more about the benefits of the Peer Mentoring Program or to complete an application, please go to our webpage or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra if you are interested in participating ([email protected] or [email protected]).


August 2015

Why Should you Participate in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program?      
By Katie Roth, CFRE

It’s hard to believe that the summer is coming to an end and another Peer Mentoring Program is about to begin.  AFP Chicago and its Peer Mentoring Committee is proud to say that the Peer Mentoring Program truly makes a difference in the careers of fundraising professionals who are new to the field, as well as those who are seasoned professionals.

How does the program work? AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program pairs protégés, individuals with a minimum of a year of experience, with mentors, individuals who have more than 5 years of experience. 

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is a members-only benefit providing individualized training to advance the skills of those newer to the profession, transitioning to a new area of the field or looking for opportunities to grow in their fundraising career. For both mentors and protégés, this is an exceptional opportunity to share expertise, network with and learn from colleagues and ultimately, ensure the strength of Chicagoland's philanthropic community.

Co-Chair Sherre Jennings Cullen, CFRE, Director of Development at Urban Gateways said “We are all lifelong learners.  Why not learn from the best?  Our mentors have years of in the trenches experience and are willing to share their knowledge with the next generation of fundraisers.  For protégés and mentors, it's a Win-Win relationship.  Some of my dearest friends are former protégés.  I highly recommend being a protégé or mentor as a way to grow both personally and professionally.”

Co-Chair Melanie Dykstra, Senior Advancement Officer at Dominican University also said, “Though this is a mentor/protégé relationship, I have found that as a mentor I have learned through the process as well.  This is a program that has real value but is free to AFP members.  A great value, indeed!”

We hope you will participate in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program. It is free for members and truly gives you a chance to sharpen your skills and broaden your network.  The deadline to be considered for the Fall Peer Mentoring Class is September 17. To learn more about the benefits of the Peer Mentoring Program or to complete an application, please go to our webpage or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra if you are interested in participating ([email protected] or [email protected]).


 

July 2015

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy
By Katie Roth

As fundraising professionals, we know it can be difficult to create a culture of philanthropy in our workplace and community.  We also know that, at times, only our peers in the fundraising community seem to truly understand the obstacles that we face.

While it might be hard to navigate, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee is here to help protégés (fundraising professionals with less than 5 years of experience) by pairing them with a mentor (a seasoned fundraising professional) to provide guidance and support.

The match between mentor Jeff Pinzino, CFRE, Senior Director of Development and External Relations, ICIRR and ICIRR Action and protégé Andrea Dennis, Outreach Director at Greenheart International is one of those matches.  As Andrea describes it, “Meeting with Jeff is a professional development workshop each and every time.  He provides me feedback and insight on current projects, obstacles, and the development industry.  I honestly don’t know how I could have proceeded in my work without his guidance!”

Mentors also receive benefits from their peer mentoring match.  As Jeff says, "I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Andrea through the mentoring process.  For me, it's helped to hone my skills as a fundraiser and teacher, and helped me to recognize what I know and what I still need to learn about fundraising.  I think it's also been useful for her in helping to build a culture of philanthropy at an established organization where fundraising is relatively new."

The Peer Mentoring Committee is now recruiting both protégés and mentors for the fall class. The deadline to be considered for the Fall Peer Mentoring Class is September 17.  To learn more about the benefits of the Peer Mentoring Program or to complete an application, please go to our webpage or contact Sherre Jennings Cullen or Melanie Dykstra if you are interested in participating ([email protected] or [email protected]). 


June 2015

Broadening your Network
By Katie Roth

As many AFP Chicago members know, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program provides a mentor – a senior professional – to individuals who are new to the development profession.  BUT, what many may not know – is that AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program also provides numerous opportunities for members to broaden their network. 

Rory Pavach, Assistant Director of Class Giving and Reunions at The University of Chicago, is a member of the Peer Mentoring Committee and a former protégé. When reflecting on her experience, Rory said “Those who work in development are incredibly giving of their time, and I can recall several instances in which seasoned fundraisers took the time to provide me with guidance when I started out in the profession. In particular, I value my experience with the AFP Peer Mentoring program. I feel so grateful to my mentor for sacrificing an hour or more every month to talk to me about my career trajectory, help me brainstorm solutions to problems I faced at work, and introduce me to his colleagues at organizations across the city. Now that I have a bit more experience, I take every opportunity to pay these kindnesses forward: I help other young professionals connect with mentors through my work on the Peer Mentoring Committee, and I take informational interviews with recent college graduates as often as possible."

Rory’s experience is one of many success stories from AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program and truly shows the connections members can build from the program.

The Peer Mentoring Committee is now recruiting both protégés and mentors for the fall class. Please contact Sherre Cullen or Melanie Dykstra if you are interested in participating.  ([email protected] or [email protected]).


 

May 2015

Flexibility • Reflection  • Growth
By Katie Roth

As development professionals, we know that time is of the essence, but we also know the importance of taking time for self-reflection and growth.   

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is structured so mentors and protégés can meet when it’s convenient for them in a way that allows them to reflect and grow from their experiences.

One of the many successful matches in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program was between mentor Eleanor Perrone, Director of Development at New Leaders Chicago and protégé Sara Meno, Grants & Special Projects Manager at the Noble Network of Charter Schools.  

When asked about their match, Sara Meno said, “It allowed me to step back from a very busy work schedule and make time for myself and my professional development.  My mentor has supported my growth and held me accountable in ways that have positively impacted my career.  The Peer Mentoring Program was a great experience and an opportunity that I have recommended to colleagues who are in the early years of their careers.”

Eleanor Perrone also found the relationship beneficial and said, “What I found most rewarding in the Peer Mentoring program was the opportunity to cultivate and support retention of the next generation of talent in nonprofit development.  Serving as a mentor allowed me to share my successes and challenges in the sector in a way that was supportive of my protégé as she examined her own career trajectory.  This gave me a great sense of pride and also pushed me to be more reflective on my own experience as we collaboratively charted our paths over the course of our year in the AFP Peer Mentoring Program.  Given that we are both committed to organizations in the education space, I know that these paths will continue to cross and that the relationship we've established over the last year will only continue to benefit us and the organizations we serve.”

For more information about AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program, please go to our website


April 2015

14 Successful Matches!
By Katie Roth

On March 26th, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee matched 14 protégés with 14 mentors at their spring Mentoring Program Kick-Off event. AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program pairs protégés, individuals with a minimum of a year of experience, with mentors, individuals who have more than 5 years of experience. 

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is a members-only benefit providing individualized training to advance the skills of those newer to the profession, transitioning to a new area of the field or looking for opportunities to grow in their fundraising career. For both mentors and protégés, this is an exceptional opportunity to share expertise, network with and learn from colleagues, and, ultimately, ensure the strength of Chicagoland's philanthropic community.

Members of this spring's class are pictured above. Please visit our website to learn about the benefits of AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program and to join the next class of protégés and mentors.

AFP Chicago thanks Plante Moran for hosting and sponsoring the kick-off event.  It is the nation’s 13th largest certified public accounting and business advisory firm, providing clients with financial, human capital, operations improvement, strategic planning, technology selection and implementation, and family wealth management services. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 22 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Monterrey, Mexico, Mumbai, India and Shanghai, China. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work.


March 2015

“So Much More” 
Sandy Macnab, FAHP, CFRE - Ben Altensey Peer Mentoring Success Story 
By Katie Roth
 

“I received so much more than I expected!”  

This is a common phrase we hear from AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring matches who could not have imagined all they would get out of AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program.

The match between mentor Sandy Macnab, FAHP, CFRE, President at Alexander Macnab & Co. and protégé Ben Altensey, Development Associate at The Pritzer Military Museum & Library is one of many successful matches who received so much more.

When asked about their match, Ben Altensey said, “Entering the mentoring program, I  received exactly what I was expecting to get out of it, and more. Meeting with Sandy and picking his brain allowed me to see a different side and a different way of viewing this amazing field. This was by far the greatest benefit my AFP membership has offered, and I recommend it to not only other young development and fundraising professionals who are green like me, but even those that are seasoned. What I’ve learned is whether you are new to the field or been in it forever, there’s ALWAYS something new to learn to better yourself and ultimately your organization and cause.”

The benefits of the Peer Mentoring also extend to the mentors. Sandy Macnab, FAHP, CFRE says, “I am very fortunate to have the privilege of working with people in the  AFP Chicago Mentoring program who start out as protégés and become trusted colleagues and friends.  Their passion and commitment to our field is energizing, validating and humbling.  Mentors get more from the relationship than protégés.  I know I do, and people like Ben Altensey are the reason.  Plus I get great behind-the-scenes tours of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library!”

As the March 2014 Peer Mentoring Class comes to an end and another class begins, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee encourages mentors and protégés to stay involved with AFP Chicago and to consider joining an AFP Chicago Committee.

For more information about AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program, please go to our website


February 2015

“Pivotal Points”
By Katie Roth

At some time or another, we all face pivotal points in our careers.

For some of us, those pivotal points are changing careers or fields in the sector. For Kenda Lovecchio (former protégé) it was determining her career path.

In 2008, Kenda was matched in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program with Melissa Berliner, Senior Consultant at Campbell & Company. At the time, Kenda had 7 years of fundraising experience and came to the program with clear goals that she wanted to accomplish. As Melissa says, “We had similar backgrounds and interests, but different experiences to share with each other. It helped that Kenda knew what she wanted from the match, which made it easy for me to support and guide her.” At the end of their match, Kenda not only established a clear vision for her career, but she gained a close friend. Kenda and Melissa remain very close and as Kenda says, “I am grateful to have found someone who is walking this path with me.”

Kenda is now happily ensconced in her new position as Director of Advancement at Chicago Children’s Choir. She and Melissa are one of the many success stories from AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program. AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is a members-only benefit that provides individualized training to advance the skills of those newer to the profession, transitioning to a new area of the field or looking for opportunities to grow in their fundraising career. For both mentors and protégés, this is a great opportunity to share expertise, network with and learn from colleagues, and, ultimately, ensure the strength of Chicagoland's philanthropic community.

To be considered for the Peer Mentoring Program’s Spring Class or to learn more about the benefits, please go to our webpage.


January 2015

A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep
By Katie Roth

Is your new year’s resolution to get more involved in the nonprofit community?

If so, look no further! AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee is recruiting mentors and protégés to join its Spring Peer Mentoring Class. AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is a great way for seasoned professionals to give back and help younger professionals gain new skills and expand their fundraising knowledge. For both mentors and protégés, this is an exceptional opportunity to share expertise, network with and learn from colleagues.

When asked to finish the sentence in a recent survey “I would recommend the Peer Mentoring Program because...” mentors and protégés gave the following answers:

It gave me someone to call when I ran into challenges in my fundraising work. This kind of access to a veteran professional has been invaluable in my development – protégé, Jeff Pinzino

It seems that my protégé benefited from hearing of my experience, and I know I benefited from being asked questions and thinking about how to approach certain things – mentor, John Huebler

There are so many lessons, tricks, and warnings in the fundraising profession that can truly only be learned through experience....unless you have an AFP mentor. Dan's willingness to share from his past, his career plans, and even his mistakes gifted me with hard-earned insight and guidelines to apply to my relatively young career. It's a chance to talk shop and get advice outside your organization, and even to learn about duties and aspects of fundraising where you might not currently work. In a profession that requires interpersonal skills, the ability to 'read people', and the knowledge of what makes a compelling 'ask' or 'mission' or 'partnership', this program has brought amazing clarity into a seemingly ambiguous arena – protégé, Damon Winters 

The deadline to be considered for the Spring Peer Mentoring Class is February 26. To learn more about the benefits of the Peer Mentoring Program or to complete an application, please go to our webpage.


December 2014

Special Thanks to Karen Sims
By Katie Roth

Karen Sims - photographed in the center of the front row.As the year comes to an end, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee would like express its gratitude for one of its greatest assets over the past 10 years, Karen Sims. Karen has been a member of AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee since 2004. During the past 5 years, Karen has also been an active member of AFP Chicago’s Board of Directors as well as a Co-Chair for AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee. We are sad to see Karen stepping down from the board and her role as the committee co-chair, but are so grateful to have had her support, guidance, and expertise.

When asked to describe Karen Sims, Sherre Jennings Cullen, Co-Chair of the Peer Mentoring Committee said, “Karen has not only made being the Chair of the Peer Mentoring Committee look easy, but she has also made participating on the Committee really fun and rewarding.  I know I speak for the entire Committee when I say she will be missed.  (I also know I have big shoes to fill!) All of us wish Karen much joy as she pursues her many other interests.  If you are looking for a yoga class in Uptown, check to see if Karen will be your teacher.  She is a great lady with many talents!

Joan Flanagan, fundraising author, coach, and trainer who regularly participates as a mentor also said, “Karen Sims took over an excellent program, and made it even better.  Peer Mentoring is where AFP members really practice what we preach.  It gives newer members contacts for frank and tested advice on their professional development and a sounding board for thorny ethical issues.  Peer Mentoring  gives the veteran members a way to stay fresh.  Karen shines at involving a wide range of people, making brilliant matches, and giving encouragement so the system really works.  Thanks so much for all you do for AFP.” 

Please join us in thanking Karen for her commitment to helping the Peer Mentoring Committee carry out its mission of providing Chicago area fundraising professionals the opportunity to share expertise, network and learn from colleagues, and, ultimately, ensure the strength of Chicagoland's philanthropic community. Thank you, Karen! 


November 2014

Another Successful Peer Mentoring Kick-Off Event!
By Katie Roth

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee is proud to announce another successful Mentoring Program Kick-Off event.  On October 23rd, AFP Chicago’s Mentoring Committee had the pleasure of matching 17 protégés with their own mentor who will help them develop their skills and knowledge.

Participants come from all sectors of the nonprofit community, including health care; children and families; arts and culture; hunger; advocacy; religion; science; museums; foundations; primary, secondary, and higher education; and consulting.

Members of the mentoring class are in this photo.  Please visit our website to learn about the benefits of AFP Chicago’s Mentoring Program and to join the next class of protégés and mentors.

AFP Chicago thanks CCS for hosting and sponsoring the kick-off meeting.  CCS is a global consulting firm that provides campaign design and management, development, and strategic planning services.  Their professional team includes executive consultants and resident campaign directors, as well as research, marketing, planned giving, and learning personnel who serve organizations across all recognized non-profit sectors.

AFP Chicago appreciates the Pierce Family Foundation's and North Park University’s sponsorship of their Mentoring Program.  North Park University is located on Chicago's north side and enrolls 3,200 students from around the country and the world. North Park University has been a long-time supporter of AFP Chicago and even offers 40% tuition discounts to AFP members. 


October 2014

“Mutually Beneficial in Every Way”
By Katie Roth

It’s hard to believe that AFP Chicago’s 2013 fall mentoring class is coming to a close and a new class of protégés and mentors will be initiated at the end of October. 

While there are many successful mentoring stories from our fall 2013 class, we decided to share with you the match between mentor, Melanie Frazier and protégé, Laura Ayento.  When asked about her match, Melanie said,Mentoring is a wonderful opportunity to feed and raise up eager development professionals. My time with Laura Ayento was dynamic, it was here a little, there a little, best practice upon best practice. Whether we met for breakfast, lunch, or at church or discussed a new season of life, the door was always open to allow me to provide wise counsel, fill her inquiring mind while all the while enjoying the pleasure of her company. It was mutually beneficial in every way.”

Experienced fundraisers, please consider joining Melanie and other mentors in making a difference with the new generation of fundraisers. To learn more about AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program, please go to our website.


September 2014 

Last Call for the Fall Mentoring Class
By Katie Roth

Is there someone in your life who you admire professionally?  Would you like to consult them before taking any major career decisions?

If you answered “YES” to these questions, then we hope you will consider participating in AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Fall Class. 

To be considered for the Fall Mentoring Class, an application (mentor or protégé) and a copy of your resume must be submitted to [email protected] by September 23.  To access an application, please click here. For additional information or questions, please contact the Peer Mentoring Committee Co-Chairs, Sherre Jennings Cullen at 312.445.2760 or Karen Sims at 773.612.4291.

Why should you participate?  Participation in AFP Chicago’s Mentoring Program offers you a chance to:

  • Network with other development professionals
  • Strengthen Chicagoland's philanthropic community
  • Learn new skills and develop existing skills  
  • Help foster the development and growth of fundraising professionals

When asked about the power of mentoring, Peer Mentoring Committee Co-Chairs, Sherre Jennings Cullen and Karen Sims said, “It is human nature to seek help, advice and approval from someone we trust.  A mentor is a person who we can trust and rely on, someone who we can talk to and seek advice from.  An AFP mentor can be a friend, philosopher and guide – someone who helps, supports, educates, and encourages."

We’re proud to have the support of our sponsor, North Park University.  As a member of APF Chicago, you receive 40% of our courses and workshops at North Part University.  Please take a moment to check out North Park University’s Fall Workshops by visiting their website.   


August 2014

Fall Mentoring Class Deadline – Right Around the Corner

I think we can all agree – there is always something new to learn in fundraising!   

That’s why AFP Chicago offers seasoned fundraisers and those who are new to the profession a chance to develop their skills, learn new trends, and network with other fundraising professionals. 

AFP Chicago offers their premier Peer Mentoring Program twice a year where seasoned fundraisers who have a minimum of 5 years of development experience are paired with someone with less than 5 years of development experience.  Once applications are received, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee carefully matches mentors and protégés based on interests, skills, and location in order to help mentors and protégés get the most out of their match.

Brandi Beckley is a current protégé in the program and said, “My mentor, Susan Hacker, has been so helpful.  We meet regularly and she can always speak to the challenges I am facing within the field.  I am a one-person development department and this mentorship helps me bounce ideas off of someone who has long-term experience and has been in my shoes.”

The fall mentoring class deadline is right around the corner.  To be considered, please complete the mentor or protégé application available on the website and submit it by September 23.  For additional information or questions, please contact the Peer Mentoring Committee Co-Chairs, Sherre Jennings Cullen at 312.445.2760 or Karen Sims at 773.612.4291.

Looking for more opportunities? AFP Chicago is proud to have the support of North Park University who provides a wide variety of workshops, certificate programs, and graduate degree programs – many are at a discounted rate for AFP Members!  Please click here to learn more.


July 2014
Peer Mentoring –“ I have found nothing more valuable than sharing experience”

Written by John Huebler 

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring committee announces that the application process for the fall mentoring class has begun. The application deadline is Tuesday, September 23. Protégés and mentors will meet in person at a kickoff meeting on Tuesday, October 23. The program provides individualized training to advance the skills of those newer to the profession, transitioning to a new area of the field or looking for opportunities to grow in their fundraising career. Current and previous participants report it is an exceptional opportunity to share expertise, network with and learn from colleagues – for both the protégés and the mentors. Matches are made according to common interests, skills and location.

Stephanie McMillian recently participated in the program and said “I have found nothing more valuable than industry veterans sharing their tried and true experience in fundraising. Nonprofit fundraising is especially challenging because it often falls on a single person or two. A mentor helps bring the focus back in to the important goals, metrics and activities to work on. I have also found that in a small organization, someone new to fundraising has no one at the organization to learn from. Leadership and program staff often do not have the knowledge and experience to contribute to such a position but a mentor provides exactly the knowledge he/she needs to learn.”

Applications for protégés and mentors for our fall cohort are available on our website. The website contains details about the program and contact information for the committee co-chairs in case you have any questions.


June 2014
Peer Mentoring Raises the Bar of Professional Performance

Written by John Huebler 

Randy Varju, FAHP, CFRE, is President & Chief Development Officer of the Advocate Charitable Foundation. In that role, as well as his role as President of AFP Chicago, he is an advocate for the AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring program. Randy said, “In my own 28-year career in development, I have benefited from the counsel of numerous mentors for professional guidance and best practices. I’ve also been honored that other development officers and executives have called on me for program advice and career guidance. Because of that, I’m proud that AFP Chicago offers the Peer Mentoring program, which provides a formal structure and measureable outcomes for this type of counsel. I do believe that through formal mentoring, AFP Chicago members are helping to raise the bar of professional performance and thereby strengthening the local nonprofit sector. I urge our members to consider participating as a mentor, or protégé, when the next class is recruited this summer. You will not regret a decision to participate.”

Applications for protégés and mentors for our fall cohort are available now on our web page. Application deadline is Tuesday, September 23. The web page contains details about the program and contact information for the committee co-chairs in case you have any questions.


May 2014
Mentors and protégés learn from each other

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring committee coaches each matched pair of protégé and mentor to assure that participants get their expected benefit. At the conclusion of each 12-month cycle, the committee surveys the participants with specific questions with the goal of continuously improving the program. We also collect general anecdotal comments about the program, and are happy to relay those success stories.

Elizabeth Krischer, Database and Stewardship Administrator with After School Matters, said “I got so much out of this program. My mentor and I have a great relationship and I felt like I was able to contribute as much as I gained. I would recommend this to anyone who would like a partner who is going to push them to do better.” Elizabeth’s mentor was Sali Mahgoub, Director of Development with the International Society For Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). Sali said “I had a great experience with the AFP mentoring program.  My protégé was wonderful and we were able to develop a close relationship.  I feel like I learned just as much from her as she did from me. The committee did a great job pairing us.  I think we will continue to meet on regular basis, even though we are officially done with the AFP mentoring program.”

A full description of this valuable member benefit is available here.


April 2014
Spring Mentoring Class Inaugurated

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring program inaugurated a class of 17 matched protégés and mentors at its March 19 kick-off event. Participants come from all sectors of the nonprofit community, including health care; children and families; arts and culture; advocacy; religion; science; museums; study abroad; parks and recreation, primary, secondary, and higher education; and consulting.

Protégé job titles include Corporate & Foundation Specialist, Development and Communications Manager, Development Associate, Development Coordinator, External Affairs Coordinator, External Affairs Manager, Manager of External Affairs, and Philanthropy Coordinator. And look at the level of mentorship these protégés receive! Mentor job titles include Account Director, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Director of Development, Director of Institutional Advancement, Manager of Individual Giving, Manager of Major Gift Development, President, Vice President, Senior Associate Director of Major and Planned Gifts.

A full description of this valuable member benefit is on our website.

AFP Chicago thanks CCS, a global consulting firm that provides campaign design and management, development, and strategic planning services, for hosting and sponsoring the kick-off meeting. The CCS professional team includes executive consultants and resident campaign directors, as well as research, marketing, planned giving, and learning personnel who serve organizations across all recognized non-profit sectors.

AFP Chicago appreciates the sponsorship of this program from the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. Did you know that North Park offers a tuition discount to AFP members?


March 2014
Sara Rebmann – Craig Morris:  A Peer Mentoring Success Story

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring Program received a strong number of applications for the March class. Our goal is to match 15 protégés with mentors every six months, for a one-year period.

We have many success stories in this program. Sara Rebmann, Women's Board Coordinator at the Adler Planetarium, is completing her year-long match with mentor Craig Morris, Director of Development at Illinois Action for Children. Sara said "Spending time with Craig has been such a positive experience. Through his advice and mentoring, I've been able to further identify my career goals and focus on where I want to develop professionally. He has also introduced me to development professionals that I would not get the opportunity to otherwise. This program has provided me access to a mentor with thoughtful guidance that I hope to continue a friendship with!"

Craig has also found benefit to participating in the program. He said "I benefited from the mentorship program as a protégé many years ago – I’m so happy I’m in a position to be able to give back. Sara is a new and ambitious addition to development in Chicago who reminds me of myself…not to mention we’re both Indiana University alumni. I was once a career advisor to college students, so that background comes in handy; however, I often surprise myself by what I have to offer given my own career path. Further, I’m happy that I’m able to introduce her to colleagues she otherwise has no access to.”

AFP Chicago appreciates the sponsorship of this program from the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University, offering accredited degree and certification programs and the resources of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. Did you know that North Park offers a tuition discount to AFP members?


February 2014

Spring Peer Mentoring Class will be matched soon – apply by Wednesday February 19

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring program will initiate a new class of protégés and mentors in March. The application deadline is upon us – Wednesday, February 19. Download the protégé or mentor applications.

The program matches junior development professionals (protégés) with senior development professionals (mentors) who are outside of their own organization, for a one-year period with measurable goals. The purpose is to share expertise, network with colleagues, and strengthen the local development profession. There is no cost beyond AFP International and Chapter dues.

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring program is regularly praised for its value to both protégés and mentors. Marchae Miller, Relationship Manager with United Way Metropolitan Chicago, was matched with mentor Erika Carey, Senior Associate Director of Major Gifts with Northwestern University in the fall 2012 class. Marchae said “from our first meeting I knew that Erika was someone I would be able to grow with professionally as well as foster a relationship with personally. She was my mentor when I was trying to make decisions about my career goals as well further identifying my professional strengths in a way that would be both beneficial to myself and the nonprofit landscape in general. She was helpful in putting me in touch with some dynamic leaders in the field. I am so glad that I was selected to be part of the program!”

Erika also found the experience to be rewarding. “Getting to know Marchae is a professional highlight for me after more than 20 years in Chicago's nonprofit sector. Our relationship was mutually beneficial from our first introduction. Her career goals and professional strengths helped me reconnect with many professionals in my network who I wanted Marchae to meet. We have attended events together and supported each other with humor and encouragement when needed. Marchae and I both made some strategic career decisions together during the AFP Peer Mentoring Program, and I know that we will be connected for years to come as a result of this partnership.”

Check out the program details and guidelines, and download the application, on our website.

AFP Chicago thanks CCS, a global consulting firm that provides campaign design and management, development, and strategic planning services, for hosting and sponsoring the upcoming March kick-off meeting. The CCS professional team includes executive consultants and resident campaign directors, as well as research, marketing, planned giving, and learning personnel who serve organizations across all recognized non-profit sectors.

AFP Chicago appreciates the sponsorship of this program from the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University, offering accredited degree and certification programs and the resources of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. Did you know that North Park offers a tuition discount to AFP members?


Happy New Year – resolve to grow your career through mentorship

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring program will initiate a new class of protégés and mentors in March. The application deadline is fast approaching – it is Wednesday, February 19. Details about the program are on our website.

We have many examples of beneficial matches in this program. Shannon McDonnell, Legal Services Coordinator, with Cabrini Green Legal Aid, is protégé to mentor Carl Davis, CFRE. Shannon said “the Peer Mentoring has been going great!  I’ve really enjoyed meeting with Carl and appreciate his insight into different things I am experiencing professionally as well as feedback regarding potential career paths.  We’ve had the opportunity to meet several times, all of which have been very beneficial.  Additionally, the individuals I’ve been connected with through Carl have had very valuable input into different aspects of my job.  I’ve been able to assist with improving our own processes as a result of these introductions.  Overall, this has been an incredibly positive experience so far.” Carl said “Shannon is a joy to work with,” and reports that as a mentor, he is receiving tangible benefit from investing his time with Shannon.

New fundraising professionals, you can reap the same benefit that Shannon reports. Experienced fundraisers, please consider joining Carl and other mentors in making a difference with the new generation of fundraisers. Check out the program guidelines and applications on our website.

AFP Chicago appreciates the sponsorship of this program from the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. Did you know that North Park offers a tuition discount to AFP members?


October 2013

Peer Mentoring Program Welcomes Fall Protégés and Mentors
The fall class of the AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring program started on October 23, with protégés and mentors being introduced to one another at a fun breakfast event at the Rock Bottom. Participants also were greeted by AFP Chicago leadership and received details of the year-long project. Our class is composed of 15 pairs of professionals from all sectors of Chicago's non-profit community, including organizations that serve families and children, health care, seniors, secondary and higher education, faith organizations, and HIV care. Members of the class are in this photo. You can be in the next photo! Consider joining this program as a mentor or protégé.

 


May 2013

The AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring Spring Class had a very successful kick-off on March 13.

Sixteen pairs of mentors and protégés had the opportunity to be introduced to one another and develop their goals for the year-long relationship. The class and committee were welcomed by Chapter President Grant Gilbert and John Farrugia, Associate Professor at North Park University’s  School of Business and Nonprofit Management.

The Peer Mentoring Committee is grateful to the chapter members who have volunteered to “give back to the profession” by working with a protégé for the coming year, helping to assure that younger professionals have the opportunity for guidance and resources as they establish their careers. The Committee is pleased that it was able to match all qualified protégé requests with a mentor for this class, which is one of the largest classes ever. Combined with the eleven pairs from the October class, who are mid-way through their work together, sixteen protégés are receiving the benefit of an experience mentor. And those mentors are finding their own performance and careers enhanced by working with a junior development officer.

AFP Chicago appreciates the sponsorship of this program from the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. Did you know that North Park offers a tuition discount to AFP members? Click here for details.

 


A very special thank you to our sponsor:  

 
© 2013 Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago Chapter
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