Meighan Bell and Kate Black, CFRE first met as colleagues at Plan International Canada in early 2017 working together to pursue ambitious fundraising revenue targets, supporting and bringing awareness to children’s rights and gender equality worldwide – a cause that both are inherently passionate about. They’ve been members of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter for a number of years and have volunteered with our Chapter Education committee to support various professional development programs. Now, Meighan and Kate are giving back in a new way – by offering all-new virtual mentorship opportunities to fellow members who want to get involved, network, enhance their skills and grow both personally and professionally. We asked Meighan and Kate to tell us more about their own experiences with mentorship and about their vision for the program:
As two self-driven and highly motivated fundraising professionals, we have had many conversations about career progression, opportunities for growth within the sector and the challenges that young fundraising professionals face within the GTA – opportunities for effective and impactful mentorship among them. After doing our research and exploring different mentorship programs and initiatives that other AFP Chapters across the country have adopted, we are thrilled to Co-Chair the re-launch of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Mentorship Program (2020-2021)!
Though the curveball that is otherwise known as 2020 has caused the team (like many others) to pivot in operations along with their approach to professional development programs, we know that many individuals – those early on in their career and those in “middle management” – remain eager to continue learning and are driven to achieve their goals. We know that organizations remain committed to cultivating strong talent who will help bring our communities and collective impact to new heights. These aspirations are met with the overwhelming concern around how as a sector we will be able to provide such opportunities, as we navigate through this pandemic and period of uncertainty. As such, we believe firmly that the need for a formalized and re-energized Mentorship Program within our non-profit community is greater than ever.
We are excited to share more details of this program with you all over the next coming weeks (stay tuned for information on how to get involved in the Chapter’s weekly member newsletter), and invite you to join us on June 12th for a virtual kick-off of the 2020-2021 Mentorship Program as part of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Breaking Bread and Raising Dough series.
See you all online!
– Meighan and Kate
About the Authors
Kate Black, CFRE
Kate joined the team at Kids Help Phone in early May 2020, as the Director, Philanthropy (Major Gifts). Supporting the advancement team’s fundraising efforts and liaising with the organization’s community of generous supporters, Kate is inspired by the opportunity to work alongside passionate and caring philanthropists, with a shared objective of supporting Canadian youth and mental health.
Starting her career at Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation as part of the Major Gifts Team supporting a number of the Foundation’s largest campaigns, Kate more recently worked as the Senior Manager, Philanthropy at Plan International Canada, as a leader within a high-growth $100 million philanthropy campaign. Kate is a motivated professional with demonstrated success and experience in major gift fundraising.
Kate holds a post-graduate certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management, from Humber College, and a BA in Global Studies and Languages, from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. She is accredited with the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.
Kate plays competitive women’s soccer, and having grown up in cottage country, she spends as much time as possible outdoors – whether on the ski hill or on the lake. She volunteers on AFP Greater Toronto Area’s Education Committee, AFP Women’s Impact Initiative, as well as with Prostate Cancer Canada and Canadian Blood Services – two causes that Kate is intimately connected to.
Meighan became the Chief Development Officer at the True Patriot Love Foundation in November 2019, recognizing the need to stand up and support our country’s veterans, military service members and their families year round, not just on Remembrance Day. As CDO she has been creating a strategy to diversify the funding of the organization, which is needed now more than ever.
Meighan started her career working as a student caller at the University of Waterloo, where she first gained an appreciation for the profession. After spending almost 10 years in the UK, working in various fundraising roles from events, planned giving and major gifts, Meighan came home to Canada.
Passionate about travel, Meighan has been to over over 40 countries. She is a volunteer on the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Education Committee and was on the 2019 AFP Congress committee. Meighan was also part of the Aspire mentorship program in the UK, which helped her reach where she is today in her career and wants to share the value of mentorship with the rest of the AFP community.