Drawing from our info session and the inquiries we’ve fielded by phone and email, EPIP DC has compiled the following list of frequently asked questions for applicants. Don’t see an answer to your question here or in the program overview? Email [email protected] for assistance!
What was the thought process in developing the mentorship program?
In early 2017, EPIP DC’s Steering Committee saw a need for more structured, affordable mentorship opportunities for our members in the DC area. After a year of planning, we’re proud to pilot this new program to help cultivate strategic, supportive relationships for professional and leadership development in our local network and philanthropic community.
What is the time commitment?
The program will span 7 months, from September 2018 to March 2019, with a commitment of 2-3 hours per month. This estimate includes the kick-off and closing events, monthly one-on-one meetings, chapter events, social gatherings, and check-ins with EPIP DC.
What do you hope that Mentees and Mentors will take away from this program?
We’ve been inspired by EPIP National’s new strategic framework, including its goal to work as part of a broader movement to advance equity in and through philanthropy. At the end of this mentorship program, we aspire to leave Mentees with a deeper understanding of equity and social justice in our sector. In partnership with their Mentor, they will have set goals, received valuable advice, and honed skills to help them navigate organizational dynamics and be successful in their lives and career. Through this experience, Mentors will leave feeling reinvigorated in their intellectual and emotional connection to their work and the next generation of leaders. We’re aiming for both Mentors and Mentees to have strengthened relationships with peers and deepened their connections with the EPIP network.
What are you looking for in a Mentee?
We’re eager to welcome Mentee applicants who are primed for this type of intervention at this moment in their life, and for the foreseeable future, are committed to a career in the sector. Titles may range from assistant to director as long as you identify as an emerging or mid-level professional. See the following prompt for more information.
EPIP is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive sector, and we particularly encourage Mentees at the intersections of marginalized identities - including but not limited to - people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ individuals, women, and immigrants and refugees, to apply.
I’m not sure whether I should apply as a Mentor or Mentee. What’s the difference?
The national EPIP community includes:
- Professionals early in their careers looking to develop their professional skills, to contribute their talents and insights through their work, and to lead change in their organizations and the sector;
- Mid-career professionals newer to philanthropy seeking to deepen their understanding of the field and how to bring an equity lens to their work and the sector;
- Mid-career professionals with philanthropic experience looking to take their leadership to the next level and committed to EPIP’s vision and values;
Senior professionals and institutions excited by our vision for the sector, who want to bring their wisdom, experience and standing as champions to influence changes across the sector.
Mentee applicants will most often fall into the first three categories, whereas Mentors will generally fall into the last. For the purposes of this program, we define senior professionals as those who have 10 or more years of experience in the nonprofit and/or philanthropic sector.
Will Mentors be paired with more than one Mentee?
The cohort will welcome 10 emerging and mid-level leaders as Mentees, who will be paired with 10 seasoned, senior professionals as Mentors. In other words, Mentors will only be paired with one Mentee.
Will there be diversity in professional backgrounds and programmatic expertise from Mentors?
This year the EPIP DC Steering Committee mapped our local philanthropic ecosystem and our connections to its variety of institutions and leaders, including but not limited to academia, consulting, donor organizing, grantmaking, media, and research. We’re striving to welcome Mentor applications from a range of seasoned sector professionals, including those who bring cross-sector experience to bear in their work. To support our efforts, we ask that you join us in spreading the word about the program!
How will the Mentee experience be tailored for non-grantmakers or non-traditional grantmakers?
We recognize that the DMV’s philanthropic landscape is very diverse. As you’ll see in our application form, we ask a number of questions to better understand you, your work, and your interest in a Mentor-Mentee relationship to inform pairing. At the mandatory kick-off event on September 12th, we’ll offer activities such as “speed networking” to help accepted Mentors and Mentees get to know each other. At the end of the event, participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on their top preferences for matching. EPIP DC will take all this information into consideration before notifying Mentors and Mentees of their pairing at the end of September.
If I'm interested in a particular issue area or topic in the sector, should I let that be known?
Yes, we encourage you to name your specific areas of interest and/or expertise in the application forum. This could include topical issues such as the arts, populations such as low-income students, strategies such as advocacy, etc. If you’re interested in shifting to areas of interest that are new or unrelated to your current role, we welcome you to be forthcoming! If accepted to the program, your responses will inform pairing, and you’ll have the opportunity to share more with fellow participants at the mandatory kick-off event.
Is the application by invitation only?
Anyone who meets our eligibility criteria is welcome to apply. For example, whether you work for a nonprofit in Arlington, an infrastructure group in DC, a foundation in Bethesda, or a consulting firm anywhere in between, please apply!
Do applicants need to reside in DC? Can they live in places like Baltimore?
Since our founding in 2010, our chapter has grappled with the challenges of this region’s geography, and has remained largely DC-focused. That said, we’ve always welcomed event attendees and members from Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia, and this program is no different!
Please be aware that in the participation agreement for this program, we ask for Mentors and Mentees to commit to having at least 3 of their 5 monthly meetings in person. We'll also be offering VIP space at chapter events and social gatherings like happy hours in DC, so consider whether it would be difficult for you to commute to these activities.
If you or your organization are located outside the District, we invite you to help us spread the word about the program in your networks!
Do I have to be an EPIP member to participate?
Mentee applicants don’t have to be an EPIP member at the moment of application, but if you’re accepted and aren’t a member, the cost to participate is $150. That fee will include a one-year EPIP membership. The program is free for existing individual and institutional EPIP members.
Mentors do not need to be EPIP members to participate, but we certainly welcome EPIP alum!
When is the application due?
Application acceptance period is closed.
When will I be notified of my acceptance to participate?
EPIP DC will notify applicants of a decision by Friday, August 30th. In the meantime, please hold time on your calendar for the mandatory kick-off event. See below for more information.
Are there any events that Mentors and Mentees must attend? What if I can’t make them?
Applicants should hold the following dates for mandatory in-person events:
- Kick-off Event: Wednesday, September 12th from 6-8pm EST
- Closing Event: Tuesday, March 12th from 6-8pm EST
Both events will take place in metro accessible locations in downtown DC. Additional information will be provided to applicants upon acceptance to the program.
Attendance is critical. If you’re unable to attend but have already applied, this will weigh heavily in our review process. If you’re unable to attend but have yet to apply, we ask that you wait for the next iteration of the program, which we’re hoping to launch in late summer/early fall of 2019.
Do you expect to have a spring round of the mentorship program?
Since the 2018-2019 program will end in the spring, we’ll likely not offer this program again until late summer or early fall of next year. We’ll take time to learn from participant feedback and prepare for the next iteration.
In the meantime, we encourage you to attend EPIP DC events to get more involved and learn more about the network. Sign up for our newsletters, and if you or your organization are not yet a member, join us!