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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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Worthy of Profound Generosity - Interview with Michelle Sutton on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Michelle Sutton, Director of Development at the Duke Catholic Center.  They discuss a variety of strategies in fundraising within campus ministries. Talking about interacting and building relationships with their students, parents and community. And how to build a sustainable annual fund by creating long-term strategy.


Show Notes:

Michelle is a graduate of Duke University with a political science major. She spent her college summers working in Washington, D.C. and realized that a career in politics is not what she wanted. While at college she was very involved in student ministry and two months before graduation, was offered the Director of Development job at Duke Catholic Center. The first thing she did once accepting the job was to attend the Petrus Development Conference in 2012.

Duke Catholic Center

When Michelle became Director of Development in 2012, the center had 5 staff members and was...

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Donor Centric Fundraising - Interview with Tom Ahern on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Tom Ahern, communications guru and author of six books, including How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money and What Your Donors Want and Why.  They discuss a variety of topics and strategies, all in the world of communications. Tom is a huge advocate for “donor centric” messaging and firmly believes that is the way to raising more money now and building long-term donor loyalty. 

Tom also shares his thoughts on some new research on “identity based fundraising” and how nonprofits can incorporate very simple changes into their communication pieces.


Show Notes:

It’s all in the execution.

Tom was a commercial marketer for 20 years through a variety of industries. He became involved with the non-profit world while helping his wife with her business.

He’s an avid reader and promotes the importance of learning from what’s available.

He saw a gap in the knowledge base of...

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A Passionate March - Interview with Jeanne Mancini on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Jeanne Mancini, President for the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. Andrew and Jeanne discussed her personal commitment to the pro-life world, how they have transformed their development program in recent years and what it was like to host the president at the March. Jeanne also shared about a very surprising phone call she received the day after the March.


Show Notes:

Jeanne is President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund and has been for the last seven and a half years. They just wrapped the National March in Washington, D.C.

Personal

Jeanne describes her passion for the Pro-Life movement as more of a calling. She describes how God instilled a fervor in her through her Masters program as well as a volunteer program with the Jesuit Corps Formation. While volunteering at a youth crisis center, she was met with kids that were so heart hardened by trauma that it presented the question, would they be better if they had...

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Who's Presenting at the 2020 Petrus Leadership Conference?

As we continue to inch closer to the 2020 Petrus Leadership Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado on June 7-10, and we get much closer to the January 31 cutoff for Early Bird Registration Rates, we wanted to share with you some of our guests on the podcast who will be at the conference presenting to participants. If you are a loyal listener of The Petrus Development Show, you will likely have heard many of these clips already, but even if you’re new to the show, you’ll be able to pick up pretty quickly how amazing our guests are and hopefully get excited about hearing more from them at the conference. 

Registration, conference and lodging details can be found at petrusdevelopment.com/plc20 or at missionfollowsmoney.com

So who are some of our speakers? 

We’ve selected a handful of short clips as a sampling of the speakers at the conference. Before each is a brief intro and some background on the speaker and what they’ll be talking about...

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When the Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary - Interview with Cristina Barba on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Cristina Barba, President of The Culture Project International. Andrew and Cristina discuss her personal and professional background and how The Culture Project came to be. They also discuss the struggles and hopes of starting The Culture Project and the issues they are seeing in schools as they strive to restore culture through the experience of virtue.


Show Notes:

Cristina Barba is the President of The Culture Project International

Personal

Cristina is the oldest of four, grew up near Philadelphia and was introduced to the Pro-Life movement at an early age. As she gained knowledge of the truth and horror of abortion, her activism in the pro-life movement grew which in turn meant her faith was deepened and grew as well.

If we lived out our sexuality according to Christ’s plan, we wouldn’t have the problem of abortion. We not only have an abortion problem; we have a sexuality problem and an identity problem.

During high school she...

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Innovation Challenge - Interview with Jason Shanks on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Jason Shanks, President of Our Sunday Visitor Institute. Andrew and Jason discuss his personal and professional background and the path that brought him to Our Sunday Visitor. They also discuss how OSV is taking steps to bring innovation and growth into fundraising. They discuss the OSV Challenge and the new ideas that are coming from the endeavor.


Show Notes:

Andrew and Jason met in Ohio years ago when, for them, fundraising started with bingo!

Background:

Jason is a convert to the Catholic Church. He went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he studied Education and Political Science. He converted from Campus Crusade for Christ in college to Catholicism and attended RCIA after graduation.

He taught High School history for three years and became involved in youth ministry, even starting a youth summer camp.

After teaching he attended The Josephinum Seminary for 1 year while discerning the priesthood. After leaving seminary he completed...

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"Just Don't Let Me Look Like an Idiot, Lord" : Interview with Andrew Robison on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, we flip the mic and interview the host, Andrew Robison. Andrew shares about his background, some of the successes and failures that he has experienced after 15 years in this business and that time that he was in a plane crash and nearly died (spoiler...he lived but missed his catering job the next day).


Show Notes:

  • Andrew grew up in Texas. After his sophomore year of college, he decided to take a year off of school. He spent a year and a half living and working in Colorado - summer camp, waiting tables, moved back to Texas in 2002 to finish his degree in History at Texas A&M University. 
  • Faith was important but attending Mass had stalled. Invitation to girl in CO reignited passion for church.
  • Attended Aggie Awakening and built community. Met Cheryl.
  • Worked at St Marys doing a lot of jobs under Greg Gorman.
  • Earned MA in Philanthropy and Development from St Marys University in Minnesota. Left to work at St Thomas More Newman Center at Ohio...
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