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Why Charities need to focus on people as well as funds

People are our most important asset

Often we think the focus of a charity is the cause they are supporting whether it is Cancer Research fundraising to find a cure for cancer or the RSPCA helping to keep animals safe. As much as this is a considerable focus for charities, they also have to focus on looking after the welfare of their team. 

TheGivingMachine was created to support charities and good causes with their fundraising. Our goal is to give away as much money to good causes as possible, but as a charity we also believe in supporting the people we come in contact with. Over the years we have seen many people who have needed additional support in their personal life join our team as a volunteer. Many have wanted to reassess their life and have a goal of rejoining the work force. We have mentored these individuals to help them become more confident and overcome their anxieties. We have also had team members join who feel they do not have the skillset to progress their career and we often hear that they cannot get a job without experience but they cannot gain the experience they need without a job. Again we are keen to work with these individuals to help them gain the skills they need. We always hope an individual leaves us with more skills and knowledge than they came with.

We believe it is important to look after the people working with you and allow them to fulfil their potential and when they move on, we hope they pass their new found skills on to the people working with them in their new role.

All too often we hear the message "Be kind". It would be great to see that message being put into practice in the workforce.

Knowledge is a wonderful thing and if we can pass our knowledge on to others we work with to help them, it makes us feel good about ourselves. Sharing knowledge is a wonderful way of giving and giving is good for the soul.

Examples of Mentoring

Below is a guide to mentoring in the workplace taken from the Berlitz website. 

Mentors help to ease their mentee’s transition to a new culture and increase their effectiveness, which benefits the employee, their team, and the company as a whole.

Types of mentoring

Mentoring can take place between:

 an individual mentor and mentee;

 or between a mentor and a group of people. 

Examples of mentoring

Individual mentoring

Examples of individual mentoring include informal, goal-oriented discussions between a junior person seeking advice from their senior, as well as discussions in which the mentor is not necessarily a senior to or even colleague of the mentee, but has more experience working in a given space. 

Examples of this include:

assigned “buddies” who help new hires get oriented over the first few weeks at the job, and 

higher-level executives selecting younger employees to learn the ways of the organization.

Group mentoring

On the other hand, group mentoring includes employee resource groups, or affinity teams, in which people with common interests or backgrounds form a group based on membership identity. 

Examples of group mentoring are:

A group of employees of South Asian origin who work together in their company’s US headquarters meet over lunch to talk about challenges they face adapting to American cultural work styles.

A group of several female tech professionals give each other advice on advancing their careers and making an impact in their company’s male-dominated IT department.

In each of the above examples of mentoring, the person in the group who has more experience in the given space gives advice to and counsels those who are new to the situation. Organizations often leverage this type of group mentoring to help motivate employees and to gain valuable insights into their target demographic.

Workplace mentoring and workplace mentors are an integral part of employee development. Companies that support workplace mentoring – formal and informal, and individual and group – will reap the rewards of a more engaged and savvier employee base. 

Image credit: Guider


About the author

Luisa Gatward

Our Head of Operations, Luisa is responsible for the smooth running of all operations including marketing and partner relationships. Having started working for TheGivingMachine in 2010, she has seen our Charity grow and develop into what we have today.

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