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Virtual Summit Week 2 Recap

Digital Gatherings Summit Recap2

Week 2 of the COVID-19 Fundraising Virtual Summit by Petrus is in the books. It was an amazing week and I still feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of it. The speakers were amazing, the attendees were engaged and excited and I could feel the level of positivity increasing with each passing day. So here are some of my takeaways from the week. 


  1. Donors are still giving so fundraisers should not stop fundraising. We had a number of stories of donors stepping up this week to make very generous gifts to support ministries they believe in. Frank from the School of Faith in Kansas City told a story of receiving a $100,000 check in the mail from a donor who made the gift now because she “knew this crisis would affect their fundraising” and she didn’t want to see them suffer. Courtney at Tulane Catholic told about receiving a $5,000 online gift after sending out an email with a link to give. And Julie shared a story of a $25,000 gift from a first-time donor to the Culture Project to help them prepare for their Days of Giving at the end of April. Donors truly care about our missions and when we do the work to build relationships, they can sense the need and will go to extreme measures to help. 

  2. The current crisis we all find ourselves in is changing by the moment. David Light said on Tuesday’s call with Matt Regitz that “this is not a single pivot...this is a pivot every day and every hour in some cases.” We are all figuring this out and don’t beat yourself up if you think you read something wrong and made a decision that now needs to change. Being adaptable and nimble is critical in times of absolute chaos, but learning lessons like this now will only benefit our ministries down the road when things stabilize. 

  3. Our donors want us to continue to advance our mission and make plans for the future. Kate Sell emphasized this point in Wednesday's session about Strategic Planning. A great example that she shared was about a high school she’s working with that’s in the middle of a strategic planning process. They brought the team together this week (virtually of course) to discuss how best to proceed. It was the parents on the committee who really stressed the need to continue making the plans because life will return to some sort of normalcy and they want to be ready when that time comes. Now, we would be best served to look at creating a short-term plan for the immediate future, but don’t set all the work of planning long-term aside. 

  4. Now is our opportunity to make changes that will set our institutions up to be stronger in the future. Kerry Robinson had a great analogy to reinforce this point. She said, “People are very interested in change when standing on a burning platform.” We all know that sometimes, people we work with or work for can be resistant to change...which can be frustrating. While we don’t ever want to be manipulative and controlling, it is possible to introduce good ideas for improvements during a time when everything is being reevaluated. Some examples of this could be creating a development plan, investing in new technology or implementing better stewardship practices. These are all good ideas that can be met with resistance, or just slowed down in the normal course of business. But now, teams and leaders are more open to change and good ideas can find a home much easier. 

  5. Be bold and dream of how your organization can more fully serve out its mission. Larry Massey had a great quote on Friday. He said, “Times like these are what our ministries are here for.” He couldn’t be more right. Matt Regitz had a similar message when he said, “If people see the Church coming to them in times of crisis, they will come back stronger than ever.” If we are called to live our mission and the mission of the Catholic Church to lead all souls to heaven, we must step up when the gauntlet is down and be prepared to deliver. God does not call us to be mediocre missionaries. Revelation 3:16 is very clear on this point, “so because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Let’s seize this moment, cast out into the deep and bring about the change in our ministries that the world needs. 


God bless all of our speakers, attendees and ministries. As I mentioned, it has been an honor of mine and I cannot wait for next week to continue building. 


If you missed an episode and would like to watch it, you can find all of the sessions up to this point on our YouTube channel as well as on the Petrus Virtual Summit landing page. Audio is also available on our podcast, The Petrus Development Show. This upcoming week will be another outstanding lineup of topics and speakers that you won’t want to miss. Join us now through April 3 at 1:00pm CST. Registration links can be found on the Petrus Virtual Summit landing page. 

God bless and remember, #thistooshallpass. 

Andrew N. Robison, Owner and President of Petrus


PS - Don't forget to take advantage of the COVID Annual Manual Recovery Offer. From now until April 30, new subscribers to the Petrus Annual Manual will receive their first 2 months of preparation, guidance and coaching for FREE. This offer is limited to the first 20, so don't delay!


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