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One Overarching Goal: Interview with Kate Sell on The Petrus Development Show

Kate Sell, Founder and Managing Partner, Mission Advancement Partners

In this episode, Andrew visits with Kate Sell, founder and Managing Partner of Mission Advancement Partners. MAP is a collaborative team of individuals who work with Catholic parishes, dioceses and ministries to help them look at their own organizational strengths and weaknesses and develop short- and long-term strategies to better fulfill their mission. In this conversation they discuss how the vision, the team and fundraising go hand in hand to help an organization grow. 

Show Notes:

  • Kate began her career by helping to establish Catholic radio stations across the United States.
  • The Bible scripture that gives Kate inspiration was the story of Jesus turning water into wine. The servants of the wedding played a critical role in the miracle. They trusted Jesus and were willing to follow instructions to allow the miracle to take place. Kate sees her role in the Church as similar to the servants.
  • Marketing, management and fundraising are the three strands of a “braid” that allows an organization to grow successfully.
  • The norm now for strategic planning is 18-24 months. Organizations need short, focused plans to bring clarity to the moment and achieve goals.
  • “Re-envisioning” is assessing and evaluating how you can live out your mission over the next 18-24 months.
  • Kate suggests that nonprofit leaders need to always keep in mind the one overarching goal: “If you do nothing else in the next two years, what is the MOST important thing that you can do.”
  • The first question that Kate asks a potential client is “how is your organization responding to the most pressing needs of the Church today?”
  • Sometimes organizations need to make difficult decisions to abandon old ideas that are no longer important to the mission. One pitfall of planning is that people feel like suggesting that a change means that what was done in the past was wrong but that is often not the case. There is a season for some organizations and ideas but the seasons can sometime end.

For more information about Kate Sell and her work or to connect with her, visit or email her at [email protected].


Giving to religious causes vastly exceeds any other category in the nonprofit sector, but faith-based organizations often struggle the most with fundraising effectively. Join Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development, as he explores this topic through honest and revealing conversations with church leaders, executive directors and development professionals from the nonprofit community.


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