Peer Mentoring Program

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is free to all members of AFP Chicago and one of the most important programs AFP Chicago offers.

AFP Chicago offers their premier Peer Mentoring Program twice a year where seasoned fundraisers who have a minimum of 5 years of development experience are paired with someone with less than 5 years of development experience. Once applications are received, AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Committee carefully matches mentors and protégés based on interests, skills, and location in order to help mentors and protégés get the most out of their match.

Spring 2017 Class 
Kick Off Photos 

Participation in AFP Chicago’s Mentoring Program offers you a chance to:

  • Network with other development professionals
  • Strengthen Chicagoland's philanthropic community
  • Learn new skills and develop existing skills 
  • Help foster the development and growth of fundraising professionals
  • The benefits the program provides were recently valued at $8,000 by a local consulting firm.

“I truly believe in the AFP peer mentoring concept. Each time I’ve worked with a protégé, I’ve come away with a long-lasting relationship that extends my network. I value highly the time spent to help develop the professional careers of AFP members.” 
– Dr. Wesley E. Lindahl, SBNM Dean at North Park University

“AFP's Peer Mentoring Program allows professionals to explore new ideas and learn best practices without having to change jobs. In this way both participants benefit the fundraising community by promoting innovation and stability across the profession.”
– Charles L. Katzenmeyer, Vice President, Advancement for The Field Museum

“As the Chair of AFP's Peer Mentoring Committee, I have seen the many benefits mentoring offers protégés. In the end, just like all comes down to relationships. If the protégé really takes advantage of the opportunity, having a lifelong support system will result from spending a year with his/her mentor. I know I think of many of my past protégés as family. I stay in touch and offer advice and connections whenever I can help. I've provided job leads, recommendations, introductions, resume edits, funding possibilities annual appeal proofing, and event suggestions (Just last month, one friend increased her profits significantly after implementing a few things that have worked for me in the past.) I hope potential protégés think of the Peer Mentoring program as an investment in themselves and their careers. They will benefit long after the official program ends!” – Sherre Jennings Cullen, CFRE, Director of Development at Urban Gateways

“AFP Chicago is proud that our Peer Mentoring Program continues to serve the needs of our members – both emerging and seasoned professionals – and to serve as a format for organizations across the country to model. We look forward to strengthening the fundraising profession through the Program in partnership with North Park University.” – Eric Johnson, MSLOC, CFRE, Director of National Philanthropy at Building Educated Leaders for Life

Each spring and fall, we launch a new class of mentors and protégés and we hope you will participate.

All participants must be current members of AFP Chicago. Click here for qualifications

To apply, simply download and complete the application and email it with a copy of your current resume to

Protege Application

Mentor Application


Key Dates & Contacts

Application Deadline - Friday, September 22, 2017
Kick Off Event - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

For more information about this program, please contact:

  • Peer Mentoring Committee Chair Sherre Jennings Cullen at (312) 445-2760
  • Vice Chair Melanie Dykstra at (708) 524-6291
  • Co Chair Katie Roth at (847) 735-6005


A very special thank you to our sponsor:


© 2013 Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago Chapter
1717 North Naper Boulevard Suite 102 Naperville, IL 60563 | Phone: 630-416-1166  | Fax: 630-416-9798