30-Minute Mentors is a knowledge-sharing resource created for and by community foundations. Community foundations offer to share with their peers their expertise in areas such as leadership, organizational identity, community issues, legislative work, donor and board engagement, and operations.
How it works
- Use the 30-Minute Mentors list to search or sort by topic or area of interest to your community. Find the contact information of someone who can provide a few pearls of wisdom prior to your next project launch.
- Once you’ve found your 30-Minute Mentor community foundation, start by visiting that organization’s website. The information you seek may already be well documented and ready for download.
- If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, check out your 30-Minute Mentor's preferred way to be contacted and make a connection. Unless your 30-Minute Mentor has time to talk right away, make an appointment for a 30-minute conversation. Respect your mentor’s limited time.
- If you make an appointment, be prompt and stick to the allotted timeframe unless your 30-Minute Mentor offers additional support.
- If your 30-Minute Mentor doesn’t have the answers or ideas you’re looking for, thank him or her and return to the list.
Mentoring for would-be mentors
- Consider documents or other materials you may provide in advance of an appointment that will help you deliver the most and best expertise in the time you have allotted.
- If appropriate, recommend any resources that were helpful to your work, e.g., tools, models, books, web links, or consultants.
- Be prepared to share project highlights—and low points—to help the person you’re mentoring build on your success while avoiding the pitfalls.
- It’s okay not to have all of the answers. If you’re stumped, just say so.
- Listen for affinities with your current projects. You may find an unexpected insight or program partner.
- When you’ve spread a good idea beyond the geographic bounds of your community foundation, pat yourself on the back and take note—program replication is an indication of your reach and impact.