Finding Your Mentor

Finding Your Mentor

A few months ago, Brock Warner set up a mentoring tweet chat. (See the #NFPmentors from August recapped here.) I joined in on that one-hour wild keyboard ride because I believe that having a mentor is a great help in one’s career path. I had such a great first boss (I didn’t know how good I had), someone who allowed me to try, but who also guided me both as a fundraiser and about the politics of the institution. But I never really had another fundraiser who I could turn to who could help me sift through the challenging parts of my professional journey. I did try to connect through a program through the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy when I lived in Washington DC, but the connection just didn’t seem to be there.

Andrea McManus - I can't believe I don't have a pic of the two of us!

Andrea McManus – I can’t believe I don’t have a pic of the two of us!

But now, I think I’ve finally found my mentor! During my career I often the person I reported to if she or he would be my mentor. But it never worked that way. I think your boss can mentor you, but isn’t your mentor. And anyway, I’ve had friends who have been sounding boards, and colleagues who have been generous with fundraising experience and expertise. But I believe a mentor is someone who helps you become a better fundraiser and who may help you navigate the challenges of career and, perhaps, life? There are programs such as one at the Vancouver chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). That might be a great way to go, or through another professional organization to which you belong. Honestly, there are many ways to find a mentor for yourself. It may be as easy as making your interest known. Continue reading

The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications – Book Review

The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications – Book Review

Today I have a guest post from my friend and colleague Rory Green! A fundraising book review as well; since I’m a fan on life-long learning, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. And thanks again to Rory for taking time from her schedule to share her take on this book.

Jeff Brooks IrresisibeBook Review: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World, Field-tested Strategies for Raising More Money

Recently in Toronto at AFP Congress, I heard Tom Ahern speak about writing fundraising copy. Tom gave the book – “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World, Field-tested Strategies for Raising More Money” by Jeff Brooks – a big thumbs up in his presentation. Tom encouraged us all to rush out and buy it – and buy it I did.

Jeff runs one of my favourite tough-love Fundraising blogs Future Fundraising Now. I had high hopes for this book and it didn’t disappoint.

First, let me warn you: this book might offend you. It is unapologetic about the claims it makes, and the myths it dispels. Luckily these claims are backed up by years (and YEARS) of research and testing. Jeff’s theories and ideas are all based on tested donor behaviour – what donors DO not what they SAY.

This short, well written, and helpful book is a powerful call to action to do fundraising well. It makes a passionate case for why we should love and treasure our profession.

Continue reading

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