For my first interview in a series about careers at NYPL, I interviewed Alexis Marion, who works in the Development Office.
What is a daily schedule like for you?
On a typical day, I will work on a number of fundraising proposals, some for philanthropic support of programs at the Library, and others for sponsorship.
How did you get this job and is this what you originally wanted to do?
I applied for my first job at the Library online.
How long have you been working at the library?
Three and a half years.
What’s the craziest, weirdest, funniest or most unusual thing that has happened to you while working at the library?
I'd have to say chatting with John Lithgow during last year's Library Lions event. He was the emcee and I escorted him around the building, to and from photo ops and meet and greets.
What college did you go to and for what?
I got an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Florida and a Masters in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics.
Out of all of the branches in NYC why did you pick the Stephen A. Schwarzman branch?
I didn't select the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. This is where the Development Offices are.
You manage the fundraising office. How do you do that?
I'm actually the Manager of Corporate Relations, which means that I'm part of the fundraising team that pursues money from companies, as opposed to individuals, foundations, or the government.
Do you set up fundraising events throughout the year?
I volunteer to work fundraising events regularly to help the Events and Corporate Partnerships team, with whom I work very closely.
How would you describe the work you have to do for fundraising? Hard? Easy?
It's challenging but extremely rewarding when, after months of phone calls, meetings, and proposal-writing, a grant check finally arrives and we're able to realize a project or help sustain programs and services.
How do you get people to help out NYPL?
There's a lot of evidence to help make the case for why supporting the Library is important for New Yorkers, and why libraries are important for people worldwide. In fact, donors often share personal stories about the impact their local library had on them as a child, or as a student. Taking that personal connection and translating it into a reason for a company to make a grant for the Library takes work, but no one struggles to understand or appreciate what we do on principle.