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Career Services

Careers at NYPL: Alexis Marion, Development Office


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.


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Alexis Marion interviewed by Cyney Sacks

Having just read this interview I found it was a good choice and a good example of what fundraising is all about. It is natural, direct and states its case really well. In this interview those elements of communication sold the idea of the importance of the NYPL, which by the way I love with a passion. Having grown up in Manhattan and using the library for a place to study for school, it became a regular for me. I would go to the library on my own from school. I hope that the new President of the NYPL Mr. Marx will make a real effort to emphasis that the community that paid to have the libraires built include Andrew Carnegie as the major donor. It is really important to help new New Yorkers realize how and individual, such as Andrew Carnegie had a social conscience and gave his own money to provide a FREE of charge, place for others regardless of income, social standing, or connections or lack of connections, or religious backround to study, to learn and to share information. One of my most memorable teachers was the late Sanford Meisner, who founded the Neighborhood Playhouse, I studied in his private class for two years and what made Meisner so wonderful in addition to his genius and talent, was his willingness to share what he knew and loved in theatre. This is what makes a person a great person. If I think about my own family, those who brought me up, it is that very trait, that makes me hold them in such high regard. It seems and maybe I am incorrect, that many today are afraid to share information, as though that would diminish the value of the one who has the information to share. But its the opposite of that that is true. It enlarges the sharer and that is why we had great teachers in the USA when I was a child also. I can remember Mrs. Susie Campbells Box, Mrs. Siegal, and Mrs. Purcell, all stand out in my mind as having given to me, without any thought of loss to themselves. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and hold them in my heart forever. Please lets sing the praise of Andrew Carnagie with a really Scottish "do" bagpipers and all, as soon as possible. Thank you. Sincerely, Bonnie Joy Osborn-Talan PS yes I am half Scottish. BJOT

Transportation reimbursements for Library volunteers

I have heard that as a volunteer, one is eligible for subway/bus reimbursements from the MTA. Do you know anything about this?

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