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Planned Giving: Learn, Connect and Grow


By David Pederson, Director of Development, Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix


Many times in a smaller organization we think a planned giving program is saved only for large universities and hospital systems with what seems like limitless financial and staffing resources. One can only dream of having the capacity to take on such a thing. However, there is a place for a program that highlights ultimate gifts in any size organization.

To get started, remember what you already know. As a development professional, you already know about forming meaningful relationships and how to talk to people about supporting your mission. The next part is to get familiar with some of the nuts and bolts as well as expanding your reach through a network of professional advisors.

Time to Learn

First, look online at organizations with successful programs and read about the different types of gift options available. Many times, you can start your search at your local Catholic...

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Wisdom For Every Generation: Interview with Mary Hernandez on The Petrus Development Show


Mary Hernandez is the Executive Director of Advancement for Our Lady of Wisdom Church and Student Center at the University of Louisiana – Lafayette. Mary is an alum of UL and was a member of the parish prior to receiving an invitation by Fr. Bryce Sibley to help with a fundraising project. Mary accepted and turned a temporary assignment into a full-time position running communications and eventually the development program. In their conversation, Mary and Andrew discuss how the growth of the ministry really spurred growth in their development efforts and how a long-term vision for serving the students of UL has led them to launch a $22M capital campaign to build a new student center.



Show Notes:

  • Mary’s first job after graduating from University of Louisiana – Lafayette was as a high school teacher. She left that job and went to work for the university in recruitment and orientation. Mary left the job so she could stay home with her children but went back to...
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Strategies for a "Successful" Appeal

By Mary Langley Hernandez, Executive Director of Advancement, Our Lady of Wisdom Church & Catholic Student Center in Lafayette, Louisiana


A successful appeal can provide an obvious financial benefit to a Catholic student ministry, be an excellent evangelization tool for benefactors and prospects, and educate that same audience on the latest great news about your campus ministry program. Appeals can also be perplexing. We wonder:

  • What will resonate with our audiences?
  • Is it worth the time to segment donors?
  • Should “the ask” be measured, or should we come out swinging for the fences?
  • Finally, is the return on investment of our time and financial resources worthwhile?

To find out, I analyzed three-years of Our Lady of Wisdom Church & Catholic Student Center’s Lenten appeals to see if there was a clear formula for success.

Snapshot of Lenten Appeal Year A, “Confession on a Secular Campus”:

We offer over 8 hours of confession a week and...

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Philanthropy, Purpose, and Presence: Interview with Keith Myers on The Petrus Development Show


Keith Myers, Director of Advancement, St. John XXIII College Preparatory


In this episode, Andrew visits with Keith Myers, the Director of Advancement for St. John XXIII College Preparatory in Houston, Texas. Keith and Andrew discuss the importance of tying the ministry of development into forming stewards with intentionality of purpose. They highlight the importance of Christ at the center of that intention. Keith learned valuable strategies for success in development though his career, which included work in campus ministry, secondary education, higher ed and even IT supercomputer sales.  These strategies include setting clear goals and tracking your data. Ultimately, being truly present to another person is of utmost importance.



Show Notes:

  • Andrew first worked with Keith in 2005 at St Mary’s Catholic Student Center in College Station when Keith trained Andrew as his replacement at St. Mary’s.
  • Making friends with others in development is helpful so you...
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Multiply the Mission: Interview with Fr. Ben Hasse on The Petrus Development Show


Fr. Ben Hasse, Pastor at St. Albert the Great University Parish


In this episode, Andrew visits with Fr. Ben Hasse, the Pastor of St. Albert the Great University Parish in Houghton, Michigan and St. Anne Catholic Church in Chassell, Michigan. St. Al’s is an active and vibrant parish and home to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Michigan Technological University, Finlandia University, and Gogebic Community College in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In addition to being pastor of two parishes, Fr. Ben is the vocations director for the Diocese of Marquette. During their conversation, he joyfully tells of his experience in ministry and development for the university parish. He speaks of the practical concerns of running a parish and student center while also emphasizing the importance of relationship.



Show Notes:

  • Ben Hasse experienced a powerful retreat in his junior year of high school then started going to daily mass and went back to confession...
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Case Study: St. Al’s Living Faith Society

By Sarah Rose, Petrus Development Consultant


St. Albert the Great’s monthly giving program is living! I don’t mean their monthly giving program is called the “Living Faith Society,” but it is actually living. It is growing and bringing life into their development program. And yours can too!

St. Albert the Great University Parish is an active and vibrant parish that is home to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Michigan Technological University, Finlandia University, and Gogebic Community College.

A recurring monthly giving program is hugely beneficial to both your ministry and your donors.

For example, a donor can provide a larger gift spread over twelve monthly installments than he or she would be able to provide in one or two larger donations within the year.  St. Al’s Living Faith Society average gift size is $57.78 a month, ranging from $10 to $300 a month.

With the Living Faith Society, St. Al’s has a predictable cash flow...

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Development and Unplanned: Powerful Parallels

goals invitation prayer Apr 04, 2019

By Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development


This past weekend, one of the biggest pro-life movies of our time was introduced to American audiences in theaters across the country. Unplanned is a biopic about Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director who underwent a radical transformation and became one of the most outspoken advocates for the pro-life movement.

I watched the movie opening night with my wife and was moved beyond tears for the families, women, and babies impacted by abortion. It was emotionally exhausting while also being incredibly powerful. So why am I talking about this movie? It’s because I believe that this movie and this story offers a treasure trove of lessons for anyone in ministry and especially in the field of development.

 

The Power of Story

Despite the movie being in theaters for just a few short days, you don’t have to spend much time on the internet before coming across stories of people sharing that they were...

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Imagining Abundance: Interview with Kerry Robinson on The Petrus Development Show


Kerry Robinson, Global Ambassador, Leadership Roundtable


In this episode, Andrew visits with Kerry Robinson the Global Ambassador of Leadership Roundtable and author of the book, Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy and a Spiritual Call to Service. During their conversation Kerry details her experience working in development for the Catholic Student Center at Yale University and later goes on to describe the origins and legacy of Leadership Roundtable, packed with useful lessons along the way.



Show Notes:

  • Kerry Robinson was the first Executive Director of Leadership Roundtable, beginning in 2005.
  • Author of “Imagining Abundance,” published in 2014.
  • Past Experience with St. Thomas More Catholic Center at Yale University. Raised $75 million in their capital campaign.
    • She began at St. Thomas More at Yale in 1997 while she was pregnant with her second child.
    • She didn’t intend to work in development (or even to work full time). She wasn’t...
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Good to Great: Interview with John Flynn on The Petrus Development Show


John Flynn, Vice President of Philanthropy, FOCUS (Denver, CO)


In this episode, Andrew visits with the Vice President of Philanthropy for FOCUS, John Flynn. They discuss the impact that development can have on ministry as well as the importance of having a plan and a vision for your ministry. Two tools for success explored are the Case for Support and the Blue Ribbon Committee. Other successful development strategies are also highlighted. Most importantly, a development officer in the Catholic Church needs to be committed to a life of prayer and participation in the Sacraments.



Show Notes:

  • John Flynn’s Work History:
    • 2010-Present: Vice President of Philanthropy, FOCUS (Denver, CO)
    • 2005-2010: Co-Founder, Petrus Development (Austin, TX)
    • 1994-2004: Director of Advancement, St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center (Lawrence, KS)
  • John got involved with the St. Lawrence Catholic Center while he was a student at Kansas University. Fr. Vince Krische was the chaplain for the...
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4 Lessons for Engaging Volunteers

volunteers Mar 19, 2019

By Mary P. Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor


We all know that volunteers are vital to our ministries. Without them, we would have to spend more money doing things that need to be done or forgo doing them entirely. An engaged volunteer believes in your mission, and even learns more about it on the job. How we treat them matters, not only because we value their work, but also because volunteering can be a first step in financial support.

When my kids were young, I wanted to volunteer and give them the experience of volunteering. So I went to my local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. The store sold donated clothing and household items at a low cost, which gave those in need the dignity of being able to make their own choices. Proceeds from the store were channeled into helping the poor with rent, utilities, medications, and food.

Gretchen ran the local store and was its only paid employee. Whenever I visited to drop off gently used items, there were always busy volunteers cheerfully...

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