Mentor Program

Connect and develop your career through mentorship.

The Mentorship Program aims to further enable fundraisers, both new to the profession and seasoned individuals. Candidates are matched for a mutually beneficial relationship to exchange advice, information and inspiration.

NEW! In 2024, we have a new opportunity to engage and get inspired through a peer-to-peer mentorship option. Peer mentorships offer valuable support and advice from relatable experiences amongst fellow fundraisers.

  • Set your own agenda, together with your mentor or mentee. Coaching for specific skills, problem solving or information sharing — it’s up to you.
  • Get your questions answered or concerns addressed.
  • Volunteer to pay it forward by mentoring another member. 

To provide a high quality program, mentee and mentor pairs will be matched according to their fields, experience and goals as outlined in the application process. Mentee and Mentors do not need to be AFP-MN members, however priority will be given to those with active memberships. Mentees have to be employed for at least one year in the fundraising field or have relevant experience and mentors need at least five years of experience in the field and are only able to be assigned to one mentee in a cohort. Mentors will have worked multiple years in fundraising, or related positions.

Mentee and mentor pairs enter into a year-long commitment. After the initial orientation session, pairs are encouraged to meet in person monthly; however; timetables should be pre-determined to best suit the needs of the pair and to accomplish the goals/outcomes. The expectation is for pairs to meet at least three times.

No matter how knowledgeable I may think I am on a given subject, there is always something to be learned. As a mentor, I have an opportunity to continually evaluate methods and reinforce my knowledge base because I am sharing ideas and explaining techniques to someone else. Being a mentor also gives me a sense of fulfillment … it’s such a wonderful feeling to help another person succeed.

— Susan Wineland, CFRE
Mentor, AFP MN member

I have felt very supported by my mentor around some key decisions as I grow my small organization’s development department. Just having someone external from my organization who understands the unique pressures of fundraising at a small agency has been invaluable. I am so grateful for this mentorship program and highly recommend it to others.

— Maryrose Dolezal
Mentee, AFP MN member

I felt intimidated to participate in the mentorship program, but several months in, I have nothing but good things to say. I’ve explored career possibilities within philanthropy through introduction to other fundraisers, discovered different types of analysis and approaches, and learned to advocate for myself in the workplace. The relationship I’ve built with my mentor has been informal and relaxed – I’ve gained confidence and connections, not to mention a friend.

— Clara Bergan
Mentee, AFP MN member

Application is open through November 17, 2023.
Applications for the 2024 Mentorship Program are now being accepted.

Questions? Please contact us at

The AFP Minnesota mentor program gives participation priority to members.