What challenges are facing many NFPs at the moment? This very question was tackled at a recent ISO capability mentors network meeting that one of the NZARCT Trustees attended. One challenge observed was that ‘many NFPs lack the capacity/time to explore collaboration, innovation, development and finding out what difference they are making.

And, how can mentoring assist a non-profit and how does this differ from consulting?

In defining a mentoring approach the attendees at the mentoring network identified key identifying characteristics:
When you work as a mentor with a non-profit they are left with more capability to do tasks themselves
People are left with tools to work with themselves
The approach of a mentor is as a facilitator – making it easier for people to do the work
A mentor assists in an organisation to unleash capability from within
Provides an external perspective without agenda
Can assist those working within a non-profit to think in new ways – innovation, work in new ways, get more for less
Mentors can promote best practice – advocate for standards, ethics, professionalism (e.g. Boards)
Has sector specific knowledge and experience

These are just some of the ways in which mentoring can assist your organisation to the best out of existing staff and volunteers already working within.

For those of you who are in the Auckland area, Unitec has one day short courses that could assist you in 2014 – Developing People & Performance, Dealing with Conflict, Community Funding, Train the Trainer, Governance in NFP Organisations. These are Inexpensive at $75 pp for scheduled courses.