Faces of WID – February 2021

Alicia's HeadshotName: Alicia Chick

Title & Organization: Individual Giving Manager at MENTOR – The National Mentoring Partnership

WID Role: Member

Hometown: Dallas, TX 

Lives Currently: Scituate, MA 

Education: University of North Texas

Hobbies: Photography, Yoga, and Reading 

How have you been coping personally during quarantine?

I’ve really tried to enjoy this time with my family because in the end, that’s what matters most. We’ve done tons of movie and game nights, walks on the beach, crafts, baking bread, you name it. I’ve been taking an online photography class. I’ve also tried to be intentional with staying connected to my circle: more frequent calls, Zoom chats and happy hours, and care packages sharing the little things that are making me happy during crazy, crazy time.

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

I ended up in development after I got my degree in advertising and had been working in the field a while and I got really burnt out. I went back to school for a bit to figure out my next step. I realized that I had always volunteered at nonprofits and I wanted to work for one. I started researching nonprofits and realized that the development field would merge my marketing and communication skills in a way to help people. It felt like a natural progression. I started at the Italian Home for Children as a development associate and I’ve been in the field ever since. Then we moved back to Texas and I took roles at the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. When we returned to Massachusetts, I started working at the Eliot School for Fine & Applied Arts and now I’m at MENTOR.

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 for MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership. Mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity allowing them to build social capital and confidence to succeed.  We work to bridge the opportunity gap for young people by building a youth mentoring movement and being a resource to our affiliates in the field. Although I’ve only been working there since the beginning of 2021, COVID has had a huge impact nationwide on our affiliates, mentors and mentees. One thing that MENTOR has done is work with long-time partner iCouldBe to develop and launch the Virtual Mentoring Portal, a safe and monitored mentoring platform for mentors and mentees to continue their relationships while they are separated during the pandemic. MENTOR has also been very supportive of its employees during this time. As a new hire, I have felt extremely included and supported during virtual on-boarding while working remotely.

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

For live events like zoom, always have a script. Always rehearse as much as you can. If you have several people involved, try to check everyone’s sound & lighting and all those kinks that can trip you up at the last minute. Also, communication is key. Keeping your constituents up to date on what you are doing helps them feel more engaged.

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

When I moved back to Boston and was interviewing for jobs, a potential employer suggested that I join WID as it would help me to learn the Boston funder landscape and get to know other professionals in the field. I think I joined originally in 2017. I particularly enjoy the Lunch and Learn workshops.

Describe your biggest development success story to date Or Can you share with us an inspiring development story from your career?

I saw a gentleman who I did not know by himself in a corner at an event. I struck up a conversation and found out that he was a long -time donor who rarely got out. We developed a friendship and over time, I was able to re-engage him with the organization and even introduced him to his now partner. When they made their union official, they celebrated with a major gift to the organization and a bequest.

What advice would you offer to someone new in the field of development? 

Take advantage of institutional knowledge of your co-workers and also professional development opportunities, like WID offers. I attend workshops and webinars as often as I can. Also, be authentic and listen. We always want to update donors on what’s going on with our orgs, but we also have to remember to listen.

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