Become a SCORE Mentor or Volunteer in 2023
If you’re looking for a way to help people live their dreams, consider becoming a SCORE Des Moines mentor. Comprised of active and retired businessmen and businesswomen, our mentors provide clients with free and confidential business counseling. Statistics show that small business clients who receive 3+ hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased business growth. The work you will do will make a measurable impact on the local economy and — more importantly — someone’s life.
What Does a SCORE Mentor Do?
You’ll perform very important work in helping clients avoid costly mistakes and make sound business decisions for their businesses. The decisions you help clients make influence their financial and business successes. Plus, you’re giving back to the community in a meaningful way.
Our small business client mix is very diverse. Many of our clients are in the Ideation phase of their business followed by Solo-preneurs and Employee Businesses. Their questions vary widely from very basic to complex. The first question can be the start of a longer mentoring relationship, but sometimes they just need help with one issue.
Your job as a Mentor is to guide, support and encourage our clients, but not do the work for them. A day in the life of a SCORE mentor looks like this:
Mentoring two to four hours per week depending on your client portfolio — this involves:
- Reviewing requests and setting up mentoring meetings.
- Meeting with the client. Meetings can range from 30 – 90 minutes, based on the client’s questions.
- Entering meeting notes into SCOREs CRM and sending a follow-up e-mail (and resources) to the client.
- Attending chapter meetings — These normally require 1.5 hours per month.
- Attending workshops — join these occasionally if you’re interested in self-development.
- Attending local community outreach events — occasionally and if interested.
Learn more from the perspective of current mentors.
How Do I Become a Mentor?
The first step is to complete an application. A Des Moines chapter member will then contact you to learn more about you and help you learn more about the organization. Our goal is to make sure that the opportunity is a good fit for you and for SCORE. Though we aim to recruit enough volunteers to meet the needs of the businesses we serve, we cannot onboard everyone that applies. It’s important to us and our small business clients that we find people who are aligned with our mission, vision and values and who are committed to contributing enough time to successfully fulfill the requirements of the role. Learn more here.
Will I Receive Any Training?
Once you’ve been accepted into SCORE, you’ll be assigned a SCORE email address and be given access to our training platform to complete the three-hour mentor certification training. You’ll also participate in co-mentoring sessions where you’ll observe more experienced mentors work with clients. It’s expected that you’ll complete the onboarding process within 90 days.
And don’t worry — you don’t have to be a master of everything, and you are not alone. Your fellow SCORE volunteers will help you to have a great SCORE experience and to serve our clients. You’ll learn how to tap into the vast pool of volunteer expertise and experience to help you be successful in your role.
Are There Other Opportunities Available?
If the mentoring role isn’t something you can commit to right now, there are other ways to put your expertise to work. You can assist small businesses by being a Subject-Matter Expert, Workshop Presenter or Volunteer. You’ll fill out an application, receive a SCORE email address and complete online training (except Mentor Certification). Find other opportunities.
How Do I Get Started?
If becoming a SCORE Des Moines volunteer sounds like a good fit for you, the first step is to fill out an application. APPLY NOW. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and help you decide if SCORE is a good fit.
One Last Thing
If you know a small business that needs some assistance, they can visit our website, score.org/desmoines to request a mentor and review the wide variety of educational opportunities.
Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need or discover new resources and events for entrepreneurs.
Julie Bundy is co-chair of Des Moines SCORE. She's held roles in product development, product management, consumer education and training at Maytag. While at DMACC she developed non-credit courses for nontraditional adult students. She has served as president of Newton Rotary, Iowa Association for Lifelong Learning and P.E.O Chapter LQ.