Faces of WID – December 2020

Dominique Calixte

Name: Dominique Calixte
Title & Organization: Associate Director of Annual Giving & Special Events, YW Boston

WID Role: Program Committee 
Hometown: Hyde Park, MA 
Lives Currently: Dorchester, MA 
Education: Providence College & Northeastern University
Hobbies: Reading and I watch lots of Law and Order SVU

When and how did you join the development field? What path brought you to your current role?

I literally had no idea I was going into development. My first experience in the development world was a college internship at Year Up Providence. My mentor through a program I was a part of my senior year was the Director of Development at the time. He heard me say I needed an internship and told me to come by next week. I had no idea what it is he did for the organization, but I showed up and here I am now.

Tell us a bit about the organization for which you currently work and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the organization’s work:

I currently work at the YW Boston as the Associate Director of Annual Giving and Special events and our mission is to eliminate racism and empower women with a particular focus on the intersection of race and gender. As a result of COVID-19 the need for our work has really been highlighted, but it also meant that we had to spend a lot of time adapting.  Both on the programs side and in our fundraising efforts. Like many other nonprofits we put a lot of effort into figuring out how to deliver high quality programs and experiences online.

What are some tips and tricks you have incorporated/learned from fundraising during the COVID-19 global pandemic?

The biggest thing for me is remembering to remain authentic through it all. In doing so you are able to maintain those relationships, foster new relationships, and create some sense of normalcy.

Why did you join WIDGB? How long have you been a member?

I joined WID a few months into the quarantine. I had connected with WID members and been to WID events in the past and knew it would be a good place to connect with fellow development folks. I really enjoy talking shop, so I saw a membership with WID as an opportunity to talk shop despite COVID. I particularly wanted to engage in more conversations around equity in the sector. And seeing WID’s statement made me feel like I could do that.

Describe your biggest development success story to date Or Can you share with us an inspiring development story from your career? I joined an organization early in its inception and there was a need to improve on systems. I spent a lot time thinking through how to improve systems to increase efficiency, and donors felt confident in us. After about a year with the new system there was a particular donor who we knew was starting to lose confidence in us that started to reengage with the organization in a very meaningful way and I can credit it to the systems I put in place. 

What advice would you offer to someone new in the field of development? Find a mentor or a peer to be your sounding board. In those moments when you are feeling unsure of yourself turn there.

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