Strategy Development

Mentoring Story
Veronica was referred to Kilfinan Australia by The Funding Network, a Kilfinan alliance partner, after she successfully took part in TFN Live (a live crowdfunding event delivered by The Funding Network that raises funds and pro-bono support for grassroots charities).

When Veronica approached Kilfinan, her organisation was leaving the start-up phase and had all the building blocks in place for the next steps. She felt that while she had a solid idea of what she was facing, she was also worried that much of what was ahead was new to her. Veronica articulated to Kilfinan that she was keen to learn and grow in the role, and that while she had made much headway, she needed support.

Once Veronica was matched, she started meeting with her mentor on a regular basis, in person, via phone and video conference.

In order for her to lead her organisation through this period of growth and change, Veronica knew she needed to put together a strong two-year strategy. As Veronica pulled together the strategy, she sought feedback and advice from her mentor, who she credits as being instrumental in providing this support. As Veronica states “it is really helpful to have a strategy, which has had a ripple effect for the team. We all know what we are working towards and all the pieces have come together.”

An unexpected benefit of the two year strategy, which has since been finalised and approved by the board, is that it helped Veronica manage becoming burnt out. Her mentor helped her see that this was happening, and that she could use the strategy to her benefit.

“The strategy provides me with the opportunity to say no to things. During COVID-19, we had a 63% increase in demand for support. My mentor could see an element of burn out in me. The development of the strategy ensured I had better boundaries in place. As charity leaders, we’re passionate and driven to make changes and often put ourselves last. My mentor and her outside perspective helped me understand that it was not possible to do it all. Based on her own professional experience, my mentor helped me work out timeframes for action.”
Why is this significant?
The outside perspective of the mentor helped the mentee avoid burnout.

The mentor provided tangible support for the mentee by setting boundaries using the organisational strategy.

The Funding Network program encourages the mentee to be reflective, and may have helped the mentee recognise she had some gaps. When the mentee approached Kilfinan, she had a solid idea of what she was facing and needed support.
What does this story say about Kilfinan?
The screening and matching process is vigorous and ensures the mentor and mentee are well set up for a relationship that is going to be successful.

While the mentorship focused on the individual, the story demonstrates the flow on effect of the mentorship from the individual to the team and the organisation.
Names and other identifying details have been changed to protect mentor and mentee confidentiality.