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Petrus Development Conference Testimonial

By Meghan Larsen-Reidy, Campus Minister, Diocese of Pittsburgh

My background is in ministry and not in development; however, the pandemic made it impossible to continue doing ministry without fundraising. There was a reduction in the funding source of my job’s budget, and in order for it to continue, I needed to begin fundraising. Suddenly the Petrus Development Conference, which had not been on my radar before Covid-19, seemed like the most logical event to attend in order to learn more. Although I was initially intimidated because of my lack of prior experience and knowledge of the other attendees, I was at ease after the first few sessions.  I was inspired to hear about the growth one ministry in particular had because of strategic fundraising.  The lessons shared were ones I could easily apply to my own situation. Throughout the few days, the talks varied between practical development strategies, inspiring stories of serious growth in ministries, and useful ways to incorporate faith in development. I appreciated that outside of the larger keynotes, we could choose to attend talks that were more applicable to our specific situations. 

It was refreshing to be around a group of people that wanted to see the Catholic Church grow and thrive. All those in the attendance were open to new ideas and to learning from each other. I enjoyed being in a small group and having individuals share what worked in development. It was interesting to hear about how certain strategies were successful for some but not for others, and more importantly, how each of them learned from their failures. For someone who has had her fair share of setbacks, I was reassured that I was not alone, and that I still had a lot of potential for success.

In addition to the talks and small group sessions, I had an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a consultant that I had not previously worked with before. This allowed me to ask more focused questions about ideas I had learned from the conference, and to clarify things I heard at the larger sessions. I filled notebook pages with notes of professional advice from that conversation.

I left the conference feeling very motivated to apply what I had learned to my situation. It was helpful to know that I now had a group of people I could reach out to for advice because they were going through similar experiences. I have already incorporated what I learned at the conference and have had more success in my fundraising efforts this year. 



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