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Fundraising is Like Raising a Baby by Andrew Robison


By Andrew N. Robison, Owner & President of Petrus


Have you ever thought about the similarities between babies and fundraising? Surely you have, right? Okay...maybe its just me, but let's play this out and see where it goes...


Building a development program is a lot like raising a newborn baby. It takes constant attention, your best-laid plans are constantly falling apart and every day your best efforts are greeted with cries of more, more, more. Its a thankless and exhausting process, but man...what a joy to see it grow and mature into something beautiful and fun to be around. 

Two and a half weeks ago, my wife gave birth to our fourth child. Elizabeth “Ellie” Ruth was born a day early but right on time...her time. You see, my wife was scheduled for a c-section at 7:30am on October 20 but Ellie had different plans. My wife’s water broke at 6:15am on October 19 so we were off to the hospital. Everything worked out and at 12:40pm, our perfect like...

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Let’s Get Excited about RMDs!


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


Let’s Get Excited about RMDs!

This may be the most boring blog post you’ll read this week, but slogging through it could bring a lot of money to your ministry!

2021 is shaping up to be a CRAZY tax year. Many of our benefactors have just recently filed their returns for 2020—with the deadline extended to October 15. WHEW! Now, you can help them and your ministry by gently reminding them that December 31 is only about two months away. That is the last day for tax favorable gifts in 2021. 

The funds for such a gift can come from a “required minimum distribution” (RMD) from a non-Roth IRA or other qualifying retirement plan account. 

Many people view their traditional IRAs as “nest eggs.” Even though they are old enough (at least 59 ½) to draw on these IRAs without penalty, they don’t, or draw just enough to meet expenses. However, when they...

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What Development Means to Me by Josh Whelan


By Josh Whelan, Petrus Vice President and Senior Consultant 


In 2000, I went to the University of Mississippi with the career goal of either becoming a psychologist or a lawyer.

 

My father is a psychologist, and like him, I want to help people. He is a person I greatly admire, and I often seek his wisdom and counsel. When I decided to become a psychologist, he advised me to intern in the field before investing in a PhD. I’m glad I took that advice. A job with a community mental health clinic convinced me that while I wanted to help people, I did not want to do that in a clinical setting. 

 

My next step was to talk to another mentor, the dean of students at Ole Miss. He guided me in clarifying that in addition to helping others, I enjoy working on a team and accomplishing tangible goals. Academic administration fit that criteria, and this led me to pursue a Master of Higher Education Administration. I entered the program thinking that someday I would be...

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The Petrus Development Conference on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew shares with us what the experience is like at a Petrus Development Conference.

In June of 2021, we hosted the Petrus Leadership Conference in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado with one hundred development and ministry leaders from around the country. Over the three day conference, we had more than 20 presenters talking about the techniques and mechanics of fundraising as well as inspirational topics such as eulogy virtues and telling a compelling story. In this episode, we will share three brief clips from the conference just to give you an example of the content and quality of speakers.

On June 12-15, 2022, we will be hosting the Petrus Development Conference in another beautiful location, the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples, Florida. To learn more or to register today, go to petrusdevelopment.com/pdc22


Show Notes:

Linda Domeyer has served as a Petrus Consultant since 2015, and also works at the Saint Louis University High School in St. Louis,...

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Women in Philanthropy Episode 5 with Sandy Guzmán


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


In this episode Tara and Sarah are joined by Sandy Guzmán, Senior Accounting Specialist at Four Leaf Financial and Accounting. They discuss the importance of finances in leadership. As well as how understanding the story the numbers are telling you allows you make decisions that will help your organization and your personal giving. 


Show Notes:

History

For many reasons, women have historically taken a backseat in finances. But today, we see that trend change. Whether because they are equal earners in the household or because they are needing to manage finances for themselves. 

 

Empower Women

The stigma needs to be removed that investments or taking care of your financial future must be done by men. The availability of information allows women to learn and do for themselves. This is not being taught in schools, but that doesn't mean that we can't still...

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Newest Member of the Petrus Team - An Interview with Joelle Fitzmaurice on the Petrus Development Show

Welcome to Season 4 of the Petrus Development Show. Today Andrew is joined by our newest team member, Joelle Fitzmaurice, Junior Consultant with Petrus Development. In this episode, Andrew and Joelle visit about her background, what brought her into the fundraising world and what she’s learning and doing so far with Petrus.


Show Notes:

Background

While she now resides outside of Washington D.C., Joelle is originally from small town Wisconsin. When deciding on college, it was important to her to keep her Catholic faith during college and decided on Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. During college she interned with the Alumni Program which was her first stint in fundraising. After college she worked in politics before being called into missions and connected with FOCUS, where she worked for two years. In June of 2021, she came on board at Petrus Development.

 

Fundraising for FOCUS

How did participants react to fundraising? Those that are familiar with fundraising...

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Success Strategies for an Online Giving Day


 By Mary Hernandez, Petrus Blog Contributor


 

Online giving days have been growing in popularity and reached compulsory status since the pandemic forced non-profits out of the rhythm of traditional in-person fundraising events. Whether you will participate in #GivingTuesday, her Catholic cousin #iGiveCatholic, or another online giving day that has traction in your region, these strategies can help to guide you in developing a successful online giving day plan.

 

RECOGNIZE AND BUILD YOUR TEAM

Online giving days are built to capitalize on the power of crowdfunding. First-time giving day participants can get discouraged after a poor showing on a giving day if their strategy consists of harnessing the power of the crowd by sharing a social media post (even a really compelling one) and expecting dollars to flow in. The crowd is a bit of a misnomer here. I rather liken a giving day to teamfunding. You may not know all the folks in a crowd, but you do...

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Women in Philanthropy Episode 4 with Sister Kathleen Lunsmann

The Women in Philanthropy podcast is back! Hosted by Tara Doyon, Director of Client Services and Sarah Rose, Director of Communications. In this episode they are joined by Sister Kathleen Lunsmann, President of Support Our Aging Religious (SOAR). This great conversation includes female roles in leadership, donor centric development and how this can transform an "ask" into a mission to build the Kingdom. They also discuss the power of listening and the gifts it can bring to you and to your donor. 


Show Notes:

Sister Kathleen Lunsmann is the President of Support Our Aging Religious. 

SOAR is a non-profit based in Washington, DC established in 1986. The organization supports Catholic sisters, priests and brothers. Specifically those who are aging and need support. 

Elderly religious continue to re-invent themselves. For example, learning a new language in their 80s.

Sarah met Sister Kathleen through the Nonprofit Alliance, and the Catholic Development...

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What Development Means to Me by Rhen Hoehn


By Rhen Hoehn, St. Albert the Great University Parish Development Director, Houghton, Michigan


I grew up in a Catholic family that practiced the faith. While I was preparing for confirmation, I went on a NET (National Evangelization Team) retreat. This retreat plus the grace of the sacrament energized me even more to be a better Catholic.

After I started college at Michigan Technological University, I became very involved with St. Albert the Great University Parish. I attended Mass, and Catholics in my dorm invited me to parish activities and events. For three year I was a “chapel rat,” one of a group of six students who, in exchange for an apartment, did maintenance chores around the parish.  Houghton is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With an annual average snowfall of more than 200 inches, that involved a lot of shoveling!

My first development experience was a job to help raise money to fix the church’s leaking roof. I took the job because I needed...

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Don’t wait for a Class Gift, Start with Stewardship


By Mary Hernandez, Petrus Blog Contributor


 

Three Cheers for the Class Gift

The class gift tradition is widely recognized in educational circles. Schools have received benches, statues, fountains, trees, and other commemorative items from grateful grads. Many Catholic ministries have invited their graduates to consider participating in a monetary Class Gift. This type of Class Gift is one of the most significant ways for a graduate to leave a legacy, support future students who will find their home at the Catholic Center on campus, and participate in its mission. This initiative builds an automatic connection between the ministry and its alumni, leaves room for flexibility and growth, and naturally provides many opportunities for stewardship and alumni celebrations as giving milestones are reached. There is no downside to implementing a Class Gift in your ministry.

Learn More about the Class Gift

 

Teach Students to Give Early and Often

 

But why wait...

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