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#iGiveCatholic: Interview with Julie Kenny on The Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Julie Kenny. Julie is the National Program Director for iGiveCatholic. Julie explains the origins of iGiveCatholic, why it exists, it's partnership with #GivingTuesday, and what it is designed to do for Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and ministries. Andrew and Julie discuss how the movement-turned organization began, the mechanics of the iGiveCatholic platform, some basic questions about the platform and certain security concerns that some considering the platform might have. Finally, Julie addresses the future of iGiveCatholic and plans for moving forward. Ultimately, as Andrew notes, the movement is driven by the question - "How can we serve the Church in a way that is responsive to the culture and technology?"


 Show Notes:

Julie Kenny  National Program Director for iGiveCatholic

Background - Macintosh systems engineer. Computer training to teach people how to better do their jobs with a personal computer. Helped her relate to people, which led to her job with Our Sunday Visitor.
Development isn't just raising funds. You're also raising human resources. Development is about relationships.
How iGiveCatholic Started
  • Began in Archdiocese of New Orleans.
  • iGiveCatholic was an idea from Corey Howat (current President of iGiveCatholic) and Josephine Eberly (Chief Development Director for Catholic Leadership Roundtable) They asked, "Why doesn't the Church have a giving day?" Approached Archbishop Aymond.
  • A movement that sprouted an organization.
  • Bishop Aymond thought they could bring in a couple hundred thousand. They thought they could bring in $500 thousand. Brought in $1.3 million
  • Built community. Brought in new donors. etc.
  • one day giving program - A diocese or a foundation pays a flat fee for all of the resources. And then every school or parish in that diocese can have their own profile under the diocese page on the igivecatholic website. People visiting their site can browse all of the dioceses listed.
  • giving tuesday occurs after black friday and cyber tuesday (in the secular world) is an opportunity for people to give back after all of the consumerism.
  • advanced giving period starts two weeks before (began november 18th) and lasts through giving tuesday
  • leader boards to show who has already been raising money.
  • parishes and schools can post pictures and videos and tell their story about what they will do with their donor dollars
  • Multiple layers of building awareness. Tuesday after thanksgiving is giving tuesday. Then the Diocese promotes to parishes and school and trickles down to each entity within a parish or a school to raise for their group. Truly honors subsidiarity but celebrates our universality
Unrestricted vs Project Money
  •  Both/And
  • As long as organizations tell their story, both are good ways to raise
Last year 2,500 schools and parishes. This year 4,000 organizations. (This is year 4)
Sometimes there are organizations that don't fit into a diocesan category and there is a place for them as well
If an organization is not a 501c3 status, iGiveCatholic has a partnership with #GivingTuesday and can help to find them someone to connect with and raise money with/underneath through Giving Tuesday.
What is in store for the future?
  • Exploring possibilities of iGiveCatholic international capabilities
  • More peer to peer fundraising
  • Forming an advisory board to help with those items; strategic planning
* Latest Giving USA philanthropy report iGiveCatholic is mentioned in the section on religious fundraising. Half of the money raised for religious organizations on Giving Tuesday last year was through iGiveCatholic
Driven by the question - How can we serve the Church and in a way that is responsive to the culture and technology?
Lightning Round:
  1. right here. right now. what I'm doing
  2. Blessed Virgin Mary
  3. Yes. God created all of the good works out there, so he is going to provide all of the funds needed to make them happen. But sometimes we as humans misdirect some of those funds that are supposed to go toward these
  4. Listen more and talk less. Observe people. There's always a reason for why people act the way they do.
  5. Her mom, Bill Nule (Our Sunday Visitor), Jesus Christ

To learn more about iGiveCatholic or to contact Julie directly, visit or email [email protected].

Andrew's Takeaways:
  1. Only 4 years old. last year they were in 29 dioceses and this year they are in 39 dioceses. Witness to what is possible when you are aggressive and get out there.
  2. Innovation is necessary for religious fundraising to succeed. We need to adapt.
  3. Every priest is different. Some are early adopters, some will take it slower. Be patient.
Action Item:
Take one step toward making your website more user friendly for your donors

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