5 Points to Remember When Mentoring: CSR Edition

Caitlin McDanels
Marketing Technology & Communications Manager, ACCP

As a corporate social responsibility executive mentor, you are a valuable resource to your mentee.  Here are five ideas to consider sharing with your mentee:

  1. Modeling a healthy relationship with technology vendors

    Vendor and client relationships can be hard. You most likely know from experience that sometimes vendor relationships are difficult. Whether you’re switching technology partners, working with a vendor for the first time, or maintaining a relationship with a longtime vendor, this is a great opportunity to show your mentee how to make it work (or know when to jump ship).

    Show that your relationship is a true partnership. You shouldn’t be afraid to share feedback and your vendor should be willing to listen to it, and vice-versa. Let your mentee know how you’ve navigated poor relationships and successful ones so that they will be ready for any outcome of their vendor relationships.

    For the more logistical aspects of vendor selection, consider sharing a few documents from the Giving Technologies section of the Resource Center.

  2. Sharing how you communicate with strategic partners

    As a CSR executive, you may have seen a few strategic partnerships flourish or fail. What made your successful partnerships work? Jot down your thoughts and share with your mentee. Be willing to discuss what went wrong with other partnerships, as that information is valuable, too.

    For a documented example of a strategic partnerships, have a look at ACT Anaheim.

  3. Navigating social media

    Perhaps you share socially on behalf of your foundation or CSR department, or maybe you share independently. Either way, let your mentee know how you came to do this and what you have learned. Even if your mentee already has a grasp on social media, a discussion on your view and theirs may benefit each of you.

    The Resource Center has a few examples of how social media can benefit your CSR work.

  4. Getting involved with board service

    It can be difficult to find the right board to serve on while you are in the field. When talking about this with your mentee, highlight what you did to ensure the board position was right for you and what you did to avoid any issues (e.g. conflict of interest).

    Another aspect of board service to address is the timeline for it. If your mentee is not yet at a level for board service, consider pointing them towards committee service first. If they are ready, perhaps offer to help vet potential boards with them.

  5. Continuing to grow your knowledge

    No matter what position you are in and no matter how elevated it is, you should always hope to learn more. CSR has been evolving and will most likely continue to change, and it is important that professionals remain in the know. Think about which events have helped you to grow professionally in the field. If you’re an ACCP member, The Conference or the Corporate Responsibility Executive Institute may be on your list. Let your mentee know how often you attend these learning opportunities in person or virtually. Your mentee may feel like they need to attend anything and everything, but, in reality, that may stretch them too thin.

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