Six coffees. One every two months. A chat, a steer, "don't run into that wall, this direction may be safer". A pat on the head wouldn't go amiss.
That's what I'm look for from a mentor. I'm an upstart CEO of the gardening non-profit start-up, Leaves Breathe. (Charity status pending....!)
We blitz and beautify Community Green Spaces across Greater London, from council estates to secret gardens, with partner sites from Surbiton to Dalston. We use the generous muscle, energy and funds generously donated during our Corporate Team Volunteer Gardening Days.
And now I am stuck. Leaves Breathe has a much longer list of partner sites asking for our help than clients who provide the current that makes the magic happen. And it is magic. I'm also looking to make less stupid mistakes, which someone wiser (it's a low bar), would help me avoid. From seeking partnerships on infertile soil to planting marketing efforts targeting HR teams, every dead end avenue explored takes up days of our organisations some member of staff, me. Everything new I do as CEO is (circular logic) the first time I do it. Exciting, adventurous (but takes a lot of energy)- and with your help more effective.
I'm looking for someone who has levelled up what could be called a charity start-up, who has pushed and carved out their own organisations path in the charity world.
Who is this fool asking for your help and what do they have to show for themselves?
In 2023 I've managed to prove the model of improving spaces and engaging communities through a corporate volunteering programme works, facilitated 1,000 hours of voluntary activity all free for the spaces we've worked in, and I've turned a profit in doing so. I've learnt to do all the nitty-gritty of being a charity CEO to a beginner's standard, from accounts to price negotiation. I believe we have the best service on the market in terms of Corporate Volunteering Days, complete with awards ceremony, profile pic-worthy-photos for our volunteers and a CSR info-pack for our clients. I'm proud of Year 1 of doing business. But we need more clients to keep delivering our great work.
We've got big ambitions as we do one thing and aim to do it well and UK wide.