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Fundraising in a Church in Crisis

By Tara Doyon, Director of Stewardship and Development at St. Paul Catholic Newman Center and Parish at Indiana University and Fr. Patrick Hyde, OP Campus Minister

When I tell people about my job, the response is almost always a bemused look followed by the statement, “I could never ask people for money.” Awkward as it is, this provides a wonderful opportunity to tell the person that fundraising for the Church is not about asking people for money. Rather, it is about forming relationships and sharing a mission, a vital mission.  I love my job.  I love connecting people to projects. I love sharing a vision with a community working hard to realize a goal. I love talking about my own faith and my duty in building the Kingdom of God.  As a byproduct of these relationships and collaborative projects, I help to find the resources to make hopes and dreams come true.  By no means is it without challenges or roadblocks, but nothing worthwhile ever is.


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Be Not Overwhelmed

prayer resources team Aug 28, 2018

The following is from the Petrus Annual Manual Weekly Emails. Visit the Annual Manual page to learn more about the Petrus Annual Manual.

Development is a demanding job, and it can be emotionally taxing.

Successful fundraising requires you to put yourself out there in a vulnerable way. If you are doing development right you are likely to find yourself in some uncomfortable or awkward situations. Fundraising also inherently requires some level of failure. No matter how you approach it, some percentage of your mailing list will ask to be removed each year. A percentage of people whom you ask for money will say “no” immediately, sometimes rudely. Some people may even start avoiding you, thinking that you are simply out to shake them down for money.

Most, if not all people who embark in development efforts experience moments of discouragement because of this.

However long that you have served in a development role now, you have dealt with some of these experiences. On top of...

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Development Committee Discussion on Facebook Live

volunteers Jul 24, 2018

How can a development committee increase the effectiveness of your development office?

What is a development committee, and how does it function?

Recently Petrus Development President Andrew Robison was on site with Steve Nache from Lumen Christi Institute in Chicago. They had the opportunity to discuss the success of the Lumen Christi Institute’s development committee on Facebook Live (available below), and they explained how other organizations can begin their own development committee and put it to work to increase fundraising effectiveness.

Some of the questions answered in the video include:

  • How does the development committee work at the Lumen Christi Institute?
  • What is the primary function of a development committee?
  • How often does Lumen Christi Institute’s committee meet, and what does a typical meeting look like?
  • Who should be on the committee?
  • How did Lumen Christi Institute’s development committee help them to turn a $500 gift into a $5,000 gift?


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Megan Dillon Joins the Petrus Team as Consultant

news team Jul 13, 2018

Petrus Development is pleased to announce that Megan Dillon recently joined the Petrus team as our newest Consultant. In addition to her work with Petrus, Megan is also Director of Advancement and Communications for the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In her role as a Petrus Consultant, Megan will work with ministries to help them expand their ministry programs through investing in building sustainable development programs.

The President of Petrus, Andrew Robison, is very excited to have Megan joining the team. “I have known Megan for many years and have always been impressed with her. She is a fearless fundraiser and I believe that comes from her intense desire to grow the ministry and evangelization efforts to the Catholic students of the University of Colorado.”

Prior to her role at the Catholic Center, Megan worked in the Washington, D.C. area as the Director of Media Relations at the National Right to Life Committee and...

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Words, Words, Words: Glossary of Fundraising Terms

resources Jul 10, 2018

As the practice of fundraising has evolved and become more professionalized and complex, many new terms have been created or repurposed that people unfamiliar with fundraising may not understand. For this reason, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) developed a complete glossary of terms to help individuals become more comfortable “talking the talk” of development. In this Annual Manual Guide, we have gathered the most common terms from that glossary (and added a few of others) to help anyone new to development understand the lingo.

The complete list of terms can be found at

acknowledgment Written expression of gratitude for gift or service.

acquisition mailing (or prospect mailing) A mailing to prospects to acquire new members or donors.

advisory board A group of influential and prominent individuals whose association with a development program is calculated to lend luster and...

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CCMA Members to Receive FREE MONTH of Petrus Annual Manual

In an email today, Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) Executive Director, Mike St. Pierre announced a collaboration between Petrus Development and CCMA. St. Pierre announced that all active CCMA members would be eligible for ONE FREE MONTH of the Petrus Annual Manual if they sign up with Petrus by July 20. This is a savings of $1,000! Full email is below.


Thursday, June 28

Is your campus ministry looking for a way to fund much-needed growth? Have you outpaced your financial support from the Diocese or Province? Petrus Development, a long-time friend of CCMA, believes that “Mission Follows Money and Money Follows Mission.” Since 2005, Petrus has helped over 100 Catholic ministries put together development plans which have led to more donations and stronger and more active ministries.

But how can you know where to start fundraising if you have never done it before?

Petrus is announcing a new program...

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Kyle Jaeger Joins the Petrus Team as Account Manager

news team Jun 24, 2018

Today, Kyle Jaeger joins Petrus Development as our new Account Manager. Kyle came to Petrus from St. Paul’s Newman Center at North Dakota State University, where he helped build a strong development program and lead the Move Newman Forward Capital Campaign to more than $15M in gifts and commitments. As Account Manager for Petrus, Kyle will work with new and existing clients to help them transform their ministries through development.

The President of Petrus, Andrew Robison, is thrilled to have Kyle joining the team. “Over the years, Petrus has done significant work for the Church and for a number of wonderful ministries. Bringing Kyle on to the team to help us connect with even more organizations that want and need to grow their fundraising efforts is going to help us take things to the next level.”

Originally from Plymouth MN, Kyle moved to Fargo, ND in 2004 to attend North Dakota State University and complete his undergraduate degree in business. While at NDSU,...

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Petrus Introduces Petrus Annual Manual

By Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development

Petrus Development has been working with Catholic ministries around the country since 2004 to build sustainable development programs, and we are pleased to announce that we recently served our 100th ministry. While I am proud of this good work, and know that tens of thousands of lives have been impacted by the efforts of these ministries, I can’t help but feel the same way as the priests who we serve…I know there is so much more work to be done and many more souls to be won for Christ.

It is for this reason that we have developed a brand new program specifically designed to help Catholic campus ministries launch new development efforts and get them started on a path to success and sustainability. The Petrus Annual Manual is a new initiative that provides organizations with a proven system, the educational tools to help staff understand and execute the strategies, and on-going guidance and support from professionals...

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10 Strategies to Capture and Re-engage Alumni

By Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development

Ministries and nonprofit organizations are always trying to grow their database of donors. For organizations who have students or program participants, alumni will typically be the largest and most connected segment of their donor population. Many of our campus ministry and Newman Center partners have hundreds or even thousands of new alumni every year but struggle with how to get them into their database and then engage them in meaningful way. Many ministries also struggle with a mailing list full of older alumni who have no connection to the ministry because nobody has communicated with them regularly for some time.

These are challenges that many Catholic ministries, and especially Newman Centers face. In order to help organizations overcome this problem, we’ve created a list of 10 ideas and initiatives that can help you capture and re-engage alumni. This list is by no means complete because I am constantly hearing of...

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Moves Management and Donor Visits

donors goals Apr 03, 2018

By Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development

The key ingredient in every great development officers recipe for success is the same…a relentless focus on face-to-face visits. There are certainly a number of other annual targets and goals, but if you can get in front of donors and prospects at least 180-200 times per year (or even more), all the rest of the goals will fall into line.

So why are face-to-face visits so important for successful development efforts? It all comes down to a process called Moves Management. There are four types of visits which constitute the process of Moves Management: Qualification, Cultivation, Solicitation and Stewardship. Regularly meeting with donors and prospects for visits is what allows development officers to intentionally develop strategies to move them closer to a major gift to the organization. That may sound a little complicated (or to some, calculating) but it’s really quite simple. Getting to know your donors and learning...

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