Marissa Fayer 

“Understand what is important to you, research what/who you want to support prior to supporting them.  Do research to understand how your gifts will impact the organization.”

Location: New York, New York

Profession: Director of Global Engineering and Strategic Project Management for AccuMed

What was the first gift you ever gave?:

When  I was a child, I donated my stuffed animals to charity for children who didn’t have any.  My parents encouraged my brother and me to understand that we were very fortunate to have everything we had, and that there were many children and families in the world that didn’t have access to what we did or have the same type of life.  They always reminded both of us that our family worked hard for all we had and that because we were fortunate, we must help others who had less than we had. That message has stuck with me throughout the years, and as I grew up and was able to make decisions about giving as an adult, I always remember that message and try to share that with others.

What is your charity of choice?:

There are two main charities:  Because I am a Girl, which supports education and access to healthcare for girls throughout the world. I sponsor a girl in Zimbabwe to provide the funds so that she can attend high school, which increases her rate of success in the future by 90%.  The second charity is Acumen, which is an impact investing organization that promotes investing in companies, leaders, and ideas that are changing the way the world tackles poverty.  I also support many smaller organizations that provide access to education and healthcare for women and children.

Who inspires you to give?: 

All of the people in the world who have less than I do, and need my help to achieve their full potential.

What motivates you to give?:

My motivation is knowing that my time, effort, and money can help change the lives of people who are less fortunate than I am, and that I can help them move their lives to the next level, whatever that happens to be (i.e. healthier children, better crops, access to education, access to healthcare, etc.).  I live a fortunate life, and know that I am the small minority of the world; I want to help the world develop in a positive way.

How do you give of your time?:

I volunteer with several organizations helping them to strategize, plan, and organize events. I attend fundraisers, as well as help educate people about the organizations and causes that are important to me.

What advice do you have for others to consider giving?  

Understand what is important to you, research what and who you want to support prior to supporting them.  Do research to understand how your gifts will impact the organization.  Know where your hard earned money is going to, and give to what you believe in, otherwise it doesn’t mean as much.


Lauren Shoolman


Lauren is a development professional with five years of experience in Canada and the United States in individual and institutional giving, and special events. She is an Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA) Fellow, a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in New York, and has been invited to deliver guest lectures at St. Lawrence University, NY, on fundraising. Lauren holds a BA Specialized Honors in Marketing and a Certificate in Management from York University, Canada.

'Marissa Fayer ' have 2 comments

  1. December 10, 2014 @ 6:03 pm Ella Fayer

    I am so proud that I instilled in my children the want to give to others…. It’s not just material items that she gives but her time as well…. I am proud to be her mother!!!!


    • December 10, 2014 @ 8:23 pm Julia Levy

      We are also very proud of her – what a role model for others! You raised her well.


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Why We Give tells stories of ordinary philanthropists, making a difference, dollar by dollar and hour by hour.  

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