Three Questions With Marie C. Smith
Since April 2011, Marie C. Smith has been director of donor relations and communications at LICF, providing personalized service to donors while promoting the Foundation’s mission and activities. She assists generous Long Islanders in supporting the places, causes, and nonprofits they care about.
How can a donor learn about organizations that are targeting a specific issue?
LICF’s professional staff continually studies quality-of-life issues that affect our community. Many local nonprofits are working to resolve those problems, and choosing among them can be difficult. We identify priorities, suggest charitable organizations, and help donors make informed decisions. LICF’s newsletters, annual reports, and occasional papers on special topics, expand donors’ knowledge of philanthropy. We also have annual events, usually hosted at a nonprofit, where our donors learn about topics such as Alzheimer’s research; or tour renowned research facilities such as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.
What do donors request most often to help them with their giving?
Our donors want to be sure their charitable giving has the greatest impact possible, and they often ask for information on causes they care about. I help them understand the scope of a problem and its contributing factors, as well as which nonprofits are addressing those issues and what strategies are most effective. We believe informed donors make the biggest difference.
LICF recently started an Annual Fund. Why should someone give to it?
The LICF Annual Fund supports a broad range of issues including education, environment, hunger, physical and mental health, arts and culture, and workforce development. LICF’s board and staff diligently research requests and make grants to qualifying nonprofits. Gifts to the fund are pooled to enable larger grants with more impact. Many donors recognize the value of being part of a bigger effort.