Alumni: Where Are They Now? with Segovia Spelbrink

Posted April 20, 2020

Learn about Segovia’s experience working at one of the largest healthcare systems in New York City and the impact the pandemic is having on mission delivery and fundraising.


Segovia Spelbrink

What was your role while at Development Guild?

I joined the firm in 2011 as an Assistant, and eventually an Associate, to Victoria. After growing into a client-facing consultant role in the Fundraising Practice, I moved from the Boston to New York office in 2013 to grow the firm’s footprint in the regional area.

What did you take away from your time here that has served you well in your career?

Launching my career as a fundraising consultant with Development Guild provided a rigorous training in industry best-practices across a variety of sectors and allowed for an incredible level of access to nonprofit leaders, volunteers, prospects, and donors. Through early exposure to hours of “strategy table” conversation on topics that ranged from lead gifts for comprehensive campaigns to volunteer engagement in peer-to-peer solicitations, I was able to absorb best-in-class approaches and apply them to a range of client engagements and discussion in my current role at Montefiore Medicine.

Tell us more about your current role.

Vials in a medical labAs Senior Director of Development, Strategic Projects at Montefiore Medicine, I work hand-in-hand with our staff, faculty, and volunteer leaders to elevate philanthropy and ensure fundraising is a valued and mission-aligned component of every aspect of the institution’s work. A few examples include integrating the Development Committees of the three governing Boards, elevating giving expectations for the governing Boards, and driving the cultivation and solicitation strategies for a portfolio of transformational donors.

Standing at the center of the pandemic in New York City’s hardest-hit borough, the expert team of physicians and scientists at Montefiore Medicine have been tracking the outbreak long before its arrival to the United States. Through innovation, determination, and resilience, our frontline staff has cared for thousands of individuals—and continues to do so with inspiring grit every minute of every day. It’s difficult to put the tenacity and bravery of Montefiore Medicine’s frontline workers and scientific investigators into words, and thanks to The New York Times video “Life and Death in the ‘Hot Zone’” and our recent press release on a trail for a coronavirus treatment, we no longer have to.

doctorSupport from the philanthropic community has positioned us as a global force for medical innovation, prepared to respond to uncertain situations with a calm determination and focus. To date, the Montefiore Medicine Office of Development has raised over $8 million (and counting!) with an exciting seven-figure grant challenge underway to inspire additional funding for groundbreaking research. We, together, assume an important responsibility on behalf of vulnerable populations worldwide and remain grateful for the community’s support in response to this ever-changing challenge.  

What have you been up to since leaving?

Since moving with the firm to New York in 2013, I still live in Manhattan on the Upper East Side after spending time in Tribeca, Chelsea, and the East Village over the years. Despite all that New York has to offer, I’ve also continued my travel outside of the country and spent time in Havana, Mexico City, Mykonos, Santorini, and Amsterdam over the last few years. All of this movement also extends into my professional life which brings me to the Bronx where I raise funds for a community as complex as it is diverse.

Segovia smiles with her dogWhat is your fondest memory from your time at Development Guild?

Beyond the client work, I will always remember Development Guild as a warm, supportive environment where I had the fortune of developing lifelong friendships, several of which have carried me forward through the unknowns of settling into a new city, advancing along a career path, and growing through the phases of life.

Do you have any advice you would like to give to incoming employees?

Embrace the incredible mentorship opportunities that exist and show your gratitude by bringing a colleague to Pho Lemongrass for the summer rolls, Seven Subs for the Lucky 7, or Anna’s Taqueria for the classic burrito when you find yourself at the Boston office.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of the Development Guild team, you can explore our current openings here: Join Us.


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