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Women in Philanthropy Episode 7 with Helen Osman and Katie Richards

Hosted by Tara Doyon, Director of Client Services and Sarah Rose, Director of Communications.

In this episode Tara and Sarah are joined by Sarah's mother and sister Helen Osman and Katie Richards of Greater Wings. In this episode, they cover a wide range of topics that all come back to the importance of communication in your ministry, in your teams and in the church. Honesty and open communication build trust as well as allow you to fulfill your mission. Find out how you can build and incorporate working communication skills in your organization. 

Show Notes:

Helen Osman has more than 30 years of local, national and international experience with particular expertise in mentoring mission-focused organizations to integrate public awareness, catechetical expectations and advocacy priorities for the organization’s stakeholders and audiences, using multiple communication platforms and networks. She began her career in Catholic media working for the diocesan newspaper in Austin, Texas, moving to diocesan communication director and then served as Secretary of Communications for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for eight years. Those years included shepherding media and communications efforts for the papal visits to the United States of Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 and Pope Francis in 2015. Today, she is the president of Greater Wings, a firm specializing in communications for mission-driven organizations. She and her husband John have four married children who taught them a great deal about communication and collaboration, and a dozen delightful grandchildren.


In her role at Greater Wings, Katie Richards supports mission-driven organizations with her expertise in third party funding, marketing, and public relations. A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans, she has served Catholic entities for more than 12 years, including the Canon Law Society of America, dioceses and archdioceses, and various educational non-profits. Prior to joining Greater Wings, Katie served as the Advancement Director for a Catholic school where she increased enrollment, expanded pre-Kindergarten programming, and funded a state-of-the-art STEM room. Katie and her husband Paul live just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina with their four young children.


Face of the Church

Scandal has been and can be within the church and we need to know how to recover and how to train for safety. Communication to the community and to the parents is so important. 


Work/Life Balance

There is no such thing. There will be moments where it all comes together and most of the time there will not be those perfect moments. Learn to give yourself grace for those times and to simply continue moving forward. 

Do only what you can do. There are times that we need to recognize that there are things we won't be able to do. 

We are many parts/gifts but one body.


Development and Communication

In some scenarios, the offices are the same and they need to work as one entity. The more you reach out, the more you secure the donation, so communication can be drafting the messages and providing support. 

When there is tension, it's because one or both sides have gone to the extremes of what the position includes. Development does not mean just always asking for money. Communication does not simply mean announcements. 

Integration is key.

Have a non-threatening staff retreat to learn what all the departments are doing so everyone is on the same page. Or do a round robin lunch with each department head. 


Greater Wings

If you would like to reach out to Katie or Helen for more information or with questions, you can reach them at [email protected] or [email protected].


Three Takeaways

  1. The world needs women and the Church to tell the truth. It is our duty to let our voices be heard in multiple capacities. Telling the truth is also a mechanism of building trust with donors. They have a right to honesty and transparency about strengths and weaknesses when giving to an organization. 
  2. Working for the church can mean sacrificial giving of your time and resources. It is important to prioritize self care and balance. This might mean that not every little thing gets done - but that is okay because you still get to go home and have dinner with your family. 
  3. The communication and development departments of organizations need to work as one. Preferably, they are two teams working together to craft meaningful touch points with participants and donors. This external communication is vital to building credibility for your organization.


If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]. Please reach out and we would love to connect. God bless you and your work and we will continue to pray for your success.


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