Member Spotlight

Renée Spiteri
Development Coordinator, Dalhousie University
AFP member since January 2017

Why did you join AFP Nova Scotia? What has your experience been like so far?

Joining AFP Nova Scotia has given me an outlet beyond my day-to-day job where I can discuss and learn new perspectives around philanthropy. I’ve enjoyed sharing industry best practices while also meeting some very insightful and friendly peers. It’s encouraging to see more education programs being offered in fundraising, philanthropy and non-profit management than ever before. Like me, people are actively choosing this career rather than falling into it. 

This year, I joined the AFP Maritime Fundraising Conference committee. It’s been a great learning experience to be a part of the planning process from start to finish. It was tough for our committee to narrow down the speakers because we received a lot of strong applications. I hope attendees will be pleased with the quality and scope of speakers and topics at the conference on June 3 and 4. I encourage everyone to check out our speaker line-up and register today.

Tell us about your current role at Dalhousie. What is your favourite part of the job?

Before I joined Dalhousie, I worked at Laing House, an amazing youth focused non-profit organization, where I was involved in all facets of the fundraising cycle. Seeing the big picture was an invaluable experience.  

I moved to Dalhousie less than six months ago, into a newly-created role in Advancement. In this position, I work directly with six Development Officers across five faculties, actively developing their plans to ensure forward momentum. My favourite part of the job is seeing how different fundraisers develop their donor relationships and learning about the many exciting research projects that are being carried out at the university. For example, did you know we have the only Tesla battery testing lab in the world here at Dalhousie? So cool!

What inspired you to pursue a career in fundraising?

When I graduated university, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career. I took the time to investigate a range of jobs and I kept being drawn back to fundraising and philanthropy.

For me, this career is about connection and relationships. It’s about doing meaningful work and effecting social change on a macro level. I look forward to making a difference through my role every day.

What’s the best advice that you have ever received?

Someone once told me: Be brutally honest with yourself, and politely honest with others. I love this saying because it comes down to being a genuine person. I try to approach all relationships – both personal and professional – with authenticity. By hearing what others have to say and asking meaningful questions, I’ve been exposed to new ways of thinking, while also seeing the interesting aspects that makes each of us unique.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Nova Scotia in the spring?

I love when you can feel the sun start to get warmer, more people are outside and the excitement for summer is building. I try to get outside as much as possible - walking around the city, taking drives down the coast, hanging out with friends on a patio or going for a hike. This year, I’m hoping to explore the Yarmouth area.