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Fundraising in the New Normal


By Mary P. Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor & Local Charity Board Member


Right now, my daughter is in our guest bedroom teaching 130 7th grade students math. To be effective, she developed new skills, tested new teaching methods, and ramped up communication with her students’ parents. She is adding some wonderful tools that will serve her well when she gets out of our bedroom and back into a classroom.

What tools are we, as fundraisers, adding to our toolboxes? Let’s take a few minutes and reflect on how our current ways of coping, ministering, and paying the bills might empower us to do our jobs even better when this crisis is over. The following are some things I’ve been thinking about.

Longing for Mass and the Sacraments

While we are now getting used to not physically attending Mass or receiving the sacraments, most of us can’t wait until that changes. Even if our benefactors and community did not always attend Mass every Sunday or receive the...

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Virtual Summit Week 3 Recap


by Andrew N. Robison, President of Petrus Development


What an amazing three weeks!

On April 3, we wrapped up the COVID-19 Fundraising Virtual Summit by Petrus. Over the course of the Summit, we held 14 days of discussions, shared countless stories, hosted industry leading experts and received serious doses of spiritual nourishment. I was fortunate to serve as the host for all 14 sessions and despite a changing environment (figuratively and literally), countless distractions (new announcements and demanding children) and technical challenges (did anyone else receive a text message reminder about 12 hours too late…), the Summit brought incredible hope for everyone involved (especially me).

Last week I shared Five Takeaways from Week 2. In today's post, I will share takeaways from Week 3.

  1. This is a tremendous opportunity to transition your donors to online giving and especially recurring giving. What are some of the ways to help your donors? Debra Richmond gave us three...
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Authentic and Intentional - Interview with Sarah Rose on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Sarah Rose, Consultant with Petrus Development.  They discuss how to develop authentic and intentional relationships as a development officer. They will also discuss how to develop skills and confidence in your work in the development world. And how to deal with distractions when they feel too important to your work to be labeled as a distraction. 


Show Notes:

Sarah Rose has been a Consultant with Petrus Development for almost 10 years. She earned her degree in Communications from St. Edwards University and her first job out of college was in marketing for a software company. While she did not enjoy her time in that career she was able to spend a lot of time with her young adult Catholic group in Austin. It was during that time that she realized that she wanted to explore working in development for a non-profit. She was encouraged to do informational interviews and that was when she met Peter de Keratry of Petrus Development. 

...

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Virtual Summit Week 2 Recap

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...
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9 Maxims for Leadership in a Crisis by Kerry Robinson

This week on the COVID-19 Fundraising Virtual Summit by Petrus, Kerry Robinson, Global Ambassador for Leadership Roundtable and author of Imagining Abundance, shared her "9 Maxims for Leadership" - true anytime but especially in chaotic times like these. 

  1. People come first.
  2. Diversity matters. Ensure diversity at the tables of decision-making.
  3. Be decisive and confident (“Go ahead and do things. The bigger the better if your intentions are sound.” – John Raskob)
  4. Remain truthful and positive. Keep perspective- immediate and near future.
  5. Communicate with consistency and frequency. Communicate solutions, not only problems. Highlight positive stories.
  6. Leaders: Care for personnel. Care for constituencies (mission). Care for finances and operations.
  7. Live out of mission in adaptable ways. Be nimble. Practice innovation and creativity.
  8. Lead with core values.
  9. Out of suffering springs new life (Paschal Mystery).

If you missed the session, you can watch the full...

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COVID Recovery Offer for Petrus Annual Manual

Today, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, we remember how the angel Gabriel came to Mary in Nazareth and gave her the best news of her life. While God had hand selected and prepared Mary to be the mother of Jesus Christ, His Son, was it possible that Mary heard this news with uncertainty, anxiety and fear? An unfriendly Roman empire, the shame of being an unmarried mother, and the doubt of being able to care for a baby...all of these worries very likely hit Mary like a ton of bricks in those first moments..

But what was Mary's response?

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."

Mary embraced the opportunity along with the worry and accepted the role of a lifetime.

Right now, how many of us are feeling uncertain, anxious and afraid? COVID-19 has the undivided attention of the entire world and life as we knew it has changed. Churches are closed and ministries are no longer open to the public. Businesses are shutting down,...

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Red Team Your Development Program


Darin Paine, PhD, presented at the Petrus Fundraising Virtual Summit 2020


We are continuing to move forward through the uncertainty surrounding us. And as we do, we can be encouraged by our community that continues to learn from, support and lean on one another.

The following is an addendum to Day 3 (March 19th) of the COVID-19 & Fundraising Virtual Summit session. 

"When a plan is in place we often focus on what it will accomplish.  However, we may miss critical considerations or get derailed by unexpected variables.  But, what if considering the unexpected was part of the plan?  What if the unexpected had already been discussed? 

Red Teaming is a way to question the plan, to identify weaknesses, to give your rogue colleagues a voice - without being a jerk - and incorporate more of your organization.  With historical roots to modern day military training, Red Teaming can help you conquer the competition by challenging everything. 

Based on...

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Enhancing Parish Communication in a Time of “Social Distancing”


By Helen Osman, Communications Consultant, Greater Wings, LLC


So, no one’s picking up the parish bulletins anymore, or coming by the parish office for office visits. How can you keep communion if you’re not communicating?

How you can communicate in this time when some “ordinary” channels of communication have been shut down?

Words Matter

First, let’s remember that, while perhaps life has changed dramatically, our mission as the people of God has not. Communicating we are still here, for every person who lives in our parish territory, is essential. Our witness as people of hope, faith and love must continue, even while our ministries will look very different for awhile.

We must, together, find creative and new ways to make and maintain community, to grow deeper in prayer, and to respond to God’s generosity with gratitude. Some ways to do this include:

  • Reassure your parishioners that the parish staff and leadership are still there for them and...
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Dear Donor, Keep Your Distance...But We Still Need You!


By Mary P. Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor & Local Charity Board Member


My community has just declared a state of emergency. I’m on the board of three nonprofits. While we are all trying to keep our social distance, these nonprofits are “out there” offering needed services, in creative ways and under great stress. Two of them have fundraising special events scheduled in the next two months. We booked our venues months ago, and we will be cancelling.

Sadly, this is happening every day right now, and nobody knows when we can plan again for big fundraising gatherings. Jamie Cappetta, president of Our Savior Parish and USC Caruso Catholic Center, recently postponed a gala. This gala was on track to raise a VERY LARGE amount of money to support the ministry. In the meantime, the work of the ministry is needed more than ever.

The logistics of cancelling or postponing include trying to recoup deposits, working with a venue and speakers, and notifying those who...

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Coronavirus and Fundraising: Five Ways to Take Action

by Andrew N. Robison, President of Petrus Development

This week has been pretty intense. The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is wreaking havoc everywhere. We have seen college campuses cancel all classes and meetings for the remainder of the spring semester. We have seen states ban all gatherings of more than 250 people. We have seen major sports events and even leagues suspend all play even in the midst of season-ending playoffs and tournaments. And now we have seen dioceses suspend all public Masses for the rest of the month. 

So how will all of this affect philanthropy?

Well, it remains to be seen what that impact will be, but we have no doubt it will be felt. Just in the state of Texas, two popular events have been canceled due to Coronovirus concerns. In 2019, SXSW in Austin and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo generated an estimated $583 million for the local and state economy. Canceling those events in 2020 will undoubtedly have an impact on regional...

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