The Barbara McInnes Mentorship Program

Barbara McInnes Mentorship Program

Barbara McInnes loved to dance but found that cancer was an unappealing and awkward partner. Early in the morning on July 1st, with a brilliant smile on her face, she took one last solo twirl and left cancer behind as she died peacefully at home in the arms of her daughters.

Barbara worked tirelessly over decades to enhance the culture of philanthropy in Ottawa, in Canada, and internationally. During her 27 years as President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, she developed new avenues and partnerships that enabled generous citizens to invest in their community. She helped to steer the Community Foundations of Canada and the International Transatlantic Community Foundation Network and fostered numerous local foundations across the country.

Barbara provided leadership to such organizations as Carleton University, the Ottawa School of Art, the United Way of Ottawa, Shorefast Foundation, the Equality Fund, Telus Ottawa, Compassionate Ottawa, PAL Ottawa. Refugee 613 and more.  For her exemplary leadership in the philanthropic community, she was invested to the Order of Canada in 2010 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from AFP Ottawa in June 2021.

Barb had a deep sense of what was true. She loved her 27 years as President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and she equally loved her seven years on the Shorefast Foundation Board. Her bond with Zita Cobb was fast and her stewardship of the Governance Committee fulfilling. Barb built deep connections with her fellow board members and had a special feeling about every person both at the Inn and in the broader Fogo Island and Newfoundland community. Over the years, her visits included not just Fogo but time with special friends Beverly and Peter Rockwood in St. John's and Marlene Creates in Portugal Cove.

There are many wonderful photos of Barb in Newfoundland. She'd been there many, many times and it was her favourite place on earth. Zita Cobb was one of her closest friends (next to Beverly Rockwood).  Perhaps even more significant than her accolades and incredible career and service achievements, is how Barb inspired, supported and mentored people throughout her illustrious career.

The Barbara McInnes Mentorship Program through AFP Newfoundland and Labrador is designed to match a junior fundraiser, with 3 years or less experience with a seasoned fundraiser for coaching in an area or areas they would like to learn more about. It provides an opportunity for the mentee to get one-on-one coaching and learn more about the pragmatic side of fundraising in complement to the more formal professional development courses available. It provides the opportunity for the mentee to hone in on specific skill they wish to cultivate and allows the mentor to help advance the profession of fundraising in Newfoundland and Labrador.

PHOTOS 2023-2024

PHOTOS 2022-2023


This program is open to AFP NL members only. Mentors must have knowledge and at least 5 years experience and who would like to "give back" to their profession. Mentee candidates must be currently employed as fundraising professionals and must demonstrate commitment to the profession and to learning. 

Spaces are very limited and the deadline to apply is Thursday, September 7, 2023. Expect this program to open again in September 2024.


Pairs are expected to meet regularly and have one meeting each month. It is the responsibility of the mentee to reach out to the mentor to set up the meetings and it’s highly recommended for the first meeting to be face-to-face to determine on the onset of the relationship the need of the partnership.

It is important for the mentee to ensure that meetings are scheduled on a regular basis and located at the convenience of the mentor and that meeting topics be share in advance. This will enable the mentor to properly prepare for the meeting. Funding will be provided through the Barbara McInnes Mentorship Program to cover costs associated with in person meetings (up to a maximum of $150 per partnership per year)

We ask that you maintain the relationship for 10 months (September to June). If you miss more than 2 of your coaching sessions, we will reassign your mentor to a new mentee (if available). Please make sure you take advantage of this resource and use it to both of your mutual benefits.

If for any reason, the mentor/mentee relationship is not working, please feel free to contact AFP NL regarding the issues. We will also review the relationship with you in January to see if the match should continue.

In addition to monthly meetings, both mentors and mentees are expected to attend our two professional development sessions for the program:

Mentorship Program Welcome session – September/October 2023 - date and location to be announced

Mentorship Program Year End session – June 2024 - date and location to be announced


We will match mentors and mentees based on the needs of the mentee and the experience of the mentor. The relationship will be structured around the needs of the mentee. However, we encourage applicants to be very specific in their applications about their wishes, including what specific areas of expertise they wish to share. 


The relationship is meant to be career specific and is not to be used or construed in any way as a consulting relationship. Mentors are encouraged to recommend appropriate resources i.e. courses, workshops, educational opportunities, vendors or consultants. Mentors and mentees may wish to advise their employer of their intent to participate in the program. Mentors and mentees must also respect that some of the information they share about their organizations is confidential in nature 


Applications are submitted using our online form, found here

Individuals may apply to be both a mentor and mentee based on their background and desired learnings however, both applications must be completed if this is the case. The deadline to apply is 2:00pm NST,
Thursday September 7, 2023
* for the 2023-2024 year. While every effort will be made to match both mentor and mentee applicants, space is limited. This opportunity is available exclusively to AFP Newfoundland and Labrador members. 

Matching of mentor/mentee pairs take place as soon as possible and a member of the Membership Committee contacts those who have been matched prior to an intake session held shortly thereafter.

Please contact AFP NL Member Relations Interim Director: Heather Butler, CFRE for applications and further details
Heather Butler, CFRE HeatherButler@rmhcnl.cas


Those wishing to donate to the fund in honour of Barb are invited to do so here: 
Charitable tax receipts will be provided by AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada.

Thank you for your generous support in honour of Barbara McInnes.

Some of Barbara's favorite memories of Newfoundland and Labrador




2022-2023 Barbara McInnes Mentorship Program Testimonials