Become a Mentor

Join our national network of sponsorship and board mentors through artsVest™ Mentorship!

“A thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience for me, as a seasoned professional in the arts administration field. I felt I contributed to the learning curve of the people I worked with and I too benefitted from their questions and concerns.”

– 2014-15 artsVest Mentor

artsVest – a flagship program at Business for the Arts – has been successfully stimulating business sponsorship and corporate engagement in arts and culture through matching incentive grants and sponsorship training since 2002. artsVest Mentorship complements the artsVest curriculum by providing participating organizations with ongoing support and expert guidance on topic areas in corporate sponsorship and board governance through a combination of group, peer, and one-on-one mentoring sessions. Through monthly training, mentees are equipped with further tools to develop sponsorship opportunities with local business and build organizational capacity!

“My meeting with our mentor was invaluable. She was very prepared and focused which gave our short session the most meaning. I was able to glean an insight into a similar organization and ask specific questions about our situation in relation to hers. As well I took the opportunity to speak to another individual there in my exact role with the festival. She also extended an invitation for continued guidance to our development team!”

– 2014-15 artsVest Mentee

Become a Mentor

We are currently accepting new volunteer mentors for the 2015-16 program cycle. As a volunteer mentor, you will act as an advisor and facilitator for corporate sponsorship and/or board governance content areas in group mentoring and one-on-one sessions. The mentorship cycle is one year in length: mentoring sessions begin in September 2015, continue through until end of August 2016, and are followed by program evaluation. Volunteer mentors are accepted on a rolling basis and may join the current program cycle at any time.

The nation-wide mentor call is open to seasoned professionals from a non-profit or corporate background who have practiced or are currently practicing corporate sponsorship and/or board governance in the cultural sector (with at least five years of experience). Mentors can come from a diversity of areas such as, but not limited to, consultation, fundraising development, corporate philanthropy, or those acting as board chairs and/or members.

artsVest Mentorship reaches organizations across Canada. If you would like to learn about the provinces and communities we serve, please inquire with the Mentorship Program Manager.

“The artsVest mentorship program is a great way for professionals to pick the brains of those with more experience in certain areas of the business, and for seasoned veterans to give something back to the community in which has provided them with a career.”

– 2014-15 artsVest Mentor

Throughout the program cycle, we will be covering content areas such as:

Planning and Prospecting Sponsors
Board Roles, Structure, and Board-Staff Relationships*
Writing and Pitching a Sponsorship Proposal
Board Recruitment, Orientation, and Diversity*
Activating and Stewarding New Sponsorship Relationships
Board Fundraising and Development*

*Board Governance content areas will be delivered by Ontario Mentors only.

A mentor is:

  • Able to provide clear insight and feedback on topics relating to their field;
  • Ready to volunteer as an artsVest Mentor for one cycle (September 2015-16) or more;
  • Prepared to commit up to 5 hours per month during active months of mentorship;*
  • Ready to contribute to the program evaluation process by providing meaningful feedback on their experience;
  • Able to attend a mentor orientation and welcome session at the outset of the program.

**Mentors are not always asked to volunteer each month, as program needs may vary.

As a mentor, you will enjoy:

  • Attending artsVest Mentor training, wrap celebrations, invitations to special BftA events, and other special offers;
  • Networking with other successful mentors in your industry;
  • Complimentary access to Business for the Arts’ Sponsorship Tutorial Series, a 6-module online training for arts sponsorship;
  • Official recognition as a Business for the Arts’ artsVest Mentor via your LinkedIn and other social media networks;
  • Raising your individual profile through exposure via BftA channels, website, and newsletter (total reach 10,000+), if desired;
  • Making a positive impact while expanding your personal communication and advisory skills;
  • Supporting your community by helping to develop the capacity of local arts & culture organizations;
  • Contributing to the vitality of the cultural sector in Canada;
  • Knowledge-sharing with peers.

BftA will support you with:

  • Mentor training materials and orientation;
  • Flexible scheduling of mentoring sessions informed by your availability;
  • Mediation in all communication with mentees;
  • Technical support before and during virtual mentoring sessions;
  • Regular check-ins to ensure your mentorship experience is rewarding and meeting your expectations. 

“Participation in the Mentorship Program gave our organization the capacity to achieve milestones beyond our dreams.”

– 2014-15 artsVest Mentee

How to Get Involved:

If you are interested in becoming a mentor for the 2015-16 mentorship cycle, please submit the Mentor Statement of Interest. If the prospective mentor and program are a good fit, a BftA representative will contact the mentor to discuss next steps.

If you have any questions about artsVest Mentorship, please contact:

Rebecca Harrison
Mentorship Program Manager
(416) 869-3016 ext. 229