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‘The mentoring programme has given me a chance to learn new skills, gain knowledge, develop confidence and recognise my strengths as a fundraiser. I wouldn't have come as far as I have in the last year without it.’ – Mentee, 2019-2020 cohort

The RAISE programme in partnership with Young Arts Fundraisers and the Cultural Sector Network offers mentoring opportunities for early-career fundraisers working in the arts and culture sector across England.

Our free mentoring scheme matches early-career fundraisers with senior or director level development professionals from a wide range of organisations in the arts and culture sector across England. Past mentors have included heads of development or development directors at organisations such as the Barbican Centre, the British Library, Plymouth Music, Royal Opera House, National Theatre, The Lowry and the Science Museum. 

This is a year-long programme, during which mentors and mentees are expected to meet at least every other month to work on the mentee’s specific professional development goals. Selected mentees will be supported with resources and advice to help you put together your SMART goals for the programme and to keep track of your progress.

Eligibility criteria:

- You are an arts fundraiser
- You are based in or work for an organization based in England
- You are available for all of the key dates listed in the application guidance
- You have read the application guidance and understand the commitments I would have as a mentee on the programme

Should you require the application form or guidance in an alternative format, we have provided audio recordings of both below.

If you need it in another form, please contact the team via email raise@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk.

Frequently asked questions

Can you apply if you’re a freelancer working for multiple orgs, if you focus on just one?

Yes, absolutely! It’s totally fine to apply if you’re a freelancer. Just make sure that your application is still focussed and specific about what you want to get out of the mentoring programme. That could mean that you focus on one organisation in your application, if you’re facing specific challenges within that role, or you could be looking more broadly at your own career development and so wish to write more about those development goals instead, unrelated to a specific organisation. 

Are you matched with someone in your region or could your mentor be based anywhere?

We do make an effort to match you with a mentor who is local to you, but this depends on who applies. Usually, we’ve been able to match mentor pairs who are within your region, or just a short journey away, and we’ll endeavour to do so this year too.

Will matching happen only once the application process has closed or is there an advantage in getting an application in sooner?

We are going to review mentee applications as they come in - but this is purely to support our volunteer team to manage their time best, otherwise we’d be overloaded with work once applications close. However, there is no advantage to applying sooner or later. Once we’ve assessed all applications, we’ll review them collectively, shortlist those that score highest, and then begin the process of matching mentees and mentors.

Do mentees get any choice in mentor/knowledge of who they are beforehand or is the pairing done behind the scenes?

Mentees don’t get a choice of mentors, but please rest assured that we put a lot of time and thought into the matching process! We know a lot of the mentors very well as they’ve been mentoring on the scheme for a few years, and they all have to go through an application process just like mentees do. Often we can see a good fit between mentee and mentor based on the information in your application and what we know about the mentors, even if it isn’t immediately obvious to you why we’ve chosen them.

How often do mentors and mentees meet?

We ask that mentees and mentors meet a minimum of 6 times within the 12 month period, so approximately once every 2 months. You can meet more often if both you and your mentor are happy to do so and feel it would be useful to you. 

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