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An interview with my Mentee

An interview with my Mentee

Chapter Leadership Brief 11.18.2022

Jill M. Scibilia, CFRE
VP, Development, Phelps Hospital, Northwell Health

Alexandra Natale
Director, Individual Giving, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York

Did you know that the AFP-NYC sponsors a Mentorship Program?  This robust program is one of the benefits of engaging in the AFP fundraising community in New York City.  I had the opportunity to serve as a Mentor in the 2022 Cohort.  Alexandra Natale was my mentee.

The AFP-NYC program includes an application that is completed by prospective mentors and mentees, which are reviewed by the mentorship committee, so mentees can be matched with mentors who can help support them in their goals.  It is one of the best activities in which I engaged all year.  Even though I was technically the mentor, I certainly learned just as much, if not more, from my mentee.  

I was interested in hearing about Alexandra’s experience in the program. Here is what she had to say:

What prompted you to apply to be a part of the mentorship program? 

I applied for the mentorship program because I was transitioning from a role focused mainly on events into an individual giving position. I was excited to make this shift and wanted additional support to excel in my new role. Additionally, as a fundraiser, I'm always interested in learning best practices from my colleagues.

Talk about the experience.

Being part of the mentorship program provided me a space outside my office to further develop my skill set as a fundraiser. It gave me confidence as I pursued a new role. I was able to bring specific situations to my mentor and think of new ways to connect with my donors and structure my time.

Did it meet your expectations or was it somehow different?

I think AFP NYC does a good job of preparing participants for the program. You get out of the program what you get into it. Being able to meet virtually is great-- as fundraisers we all have busy periods and this flexibility allowed me and my mentor to meet more consistently than if we had to find times to meet in person.

Would you recommend this program to others? If so, who?  Meaning at what stage of their career?

Yes. I would recommend this program to anyone looking for additional support in their career, or a way to generate new ideas and approaches to their fundraising work. I work on a wonderful, highly collaborative team, and I still benefited from an additional space to hear from my mentor about how she approaches her work. I especially benefited from this program at a career transition point, but I can see it also being beneficial for people who are just starting out in fundraising or looking to move into a more senior role.

What does the term “fundraising community” mean to you?

Fundraising community to me means a group of people who are committed to helping each other and our profession. As fundraisers, so many of us get into this work because we care deeply about community. I'm inspired by my cohort's commitment making fundraising more welcoming, inclusive, and reflective of our values. 

Interested in learning more and getting involved in AFP-NYC’s fundraising community?  Visit

Thank you for your leadership and commitment to professional fundraising.

With gratitude,
Alexandra and Jill

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