Get to Know the Development Committee
|Alexandra Levi, VP of Development|
It’s hard to imagine a more important group more vital to the health of NYWIFT as an organization than the Development Committee – where members connect with entertainment executives and explain the benefits of sponsoring this organization. Leading the charge is Alex Levi, whose knowledge of finance and ever-sharp wit has made the Development Committee one dynamic place to be in recent years.
Levi has been CFO of a modeling agency and a VP of Entertainment at a communications firm, where she produced content for film and TV. Six years ago, she set up her own financial consulting company, Element Financial Group, which advises businesses and individuals on ways to create and preserve wealth.
Recently, Janet Stilson, NYWIFT’s VP of Special Events, asked Alex to take the mystery out of the Development Committee process.
Why do you like working on the Development Committee so much? What's in it for you?
I find it very rewarding to work on this committee, which is so vital to NYWIFT. It’s responsible for creating strategies to attract and retain corporate sponsors. Our contacts are decision makers at the companies who sponsor NYWIFT, great people to know if you are a businesswoman.
What’s in it for me is the satisfaction of bringing sponsors to NYWIFT, and it truly is a pleasure in that it’s beneficial to everyone involved. The sponsors have exposure to one of the best organizations in the industry. And, of course, knowing terrific people who control budgets and checkbooks can only help me grow my own business!
Let’s say I don't think I have a lot of contacts at companies that might give NYWIFT money. Would I still be of any use working on the committee?
It is absolutely beneficial to be on the committee, regardless of whether you have contacts or not. If it is important to raise money for your business or your position, then development is a great place to hone that skill.
If you are looking to meet decision makers in the industry, that’s exactly who you’ll be exposed to. And, of course, sometimes sponsors come from the most unlikely sources. You may have a sponsor or two in your database and not even know it!
Can the Development Committee be a good networking opportunity?
The very nature of development is reaching out to people and companies, so it’s a great networking opportunity! I can’t stress how important networking is, especially in this economy. Also volunteering on a committee is a fabulous way to meet members of the organization and the board. And I can attest that meeting more people in NYWIFT is a great thing. I have met some of the most amazing women.
What kind of time commitment is involved?
There is one committee meeting a month that lasts about an hour. Phone and meeting time is within your control.
What kind of tasks would I be asked to do?
You’d be asked to make phone calls and reach out to potential sponsors and perhaps to existing sponsors. I have found that committee members stay very much involved with their sponsors. Generally when a committee member secures a sponsor, they remain their contact forever.
To learn more about joining the Development Committee, please contact Alexis Alexanian at firstname.lastname@example.org or Josefa Jaime, NYWIFT's Membership Coordinator, at email@example.com.
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Mar. 9, 2011