Mentoring: your questions answered
How does mentoring work?
Our mentoring scheme is a personal matching service. Applicants fill out an online form with information on their job role, career experience and what they’re looking to get out of the scheme so CharityComms can make an appropriate match. We approach possible mentors from our network of comms professionals that we think could work well.
How can I assess if the relationship will work?
Once we have made a match between mentee and mentor, an introductory email is sent so you can arrange your first meeting. The first meeting is an opportunity for you to get a feel for whether or not the relationship is going to work. It’s important to attend feeling prepared, clear about your objectives and ready for an open discussion.
How is the scheme structured?
When we introduce you to a mentor, we provide you both with a mentoring guidelines document, with points to cover in your first meeting, advice and suggestions on how to structure your mentoring relationship going forward. We also have a resource pack for mentees which explains how to prepare for an approach your mentoring relationship.
How much time do I need to commit?
If the first meeting is a success, it’s then up to you to define how the relationship is going to work. Together you decide what your aims will be, how often you will meet and for how long. On average, people tend to meet every 4-6 weeks for an hour or so over a period of three – 12 months).
Who leads the meetings?
We encourage mentees on our scheme to take responsibility for setting the agenda. The mentoring relationship is a focus on you and your career, so it’s your responsibility to be clear about your objectives from the start. Let your mentor know what you are looking to get out of the scheme.
How long does the scheme last?
The mentoring relationship can last up to one year under the CharityComms umbrella, but this is not prescriptive. It tends to vary for everyone, depending on what people are looking to get out of the scheme. Some might take part for three months and for others it will be up to a year.
How is CharityComms involved?
Once we have made a match between mentor and mentee, if the first meeting is successful we will leave it to you to keep things going. You are of course free to contact CharityComms with any problems and / or advice you may need, and we will check in with you from time to time to get feedback. We’ll also send you an evaluation form when the relationship comes to an end.
Who can apply for a CharityComms mentor?
CharityComms Peer Support Scheme is a personal matching service run exclusively for our organisational members. The most important factor is that you have one clear objective to explore with a mentor before applying for the scheme. Given that our mentors donate their time for free to support this scheme, our service is primarily for comms professionals directly employed by a charity. We will consider applications from freelancers working in the not-for-profit sector: however these will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly if you are unsure which category you fit into.
For more information please read CharityComms’ peer support scheme.