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PLC 2019: Interview with James Baxter on the Petrus Development Show


James Baxter, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Exodus 90


James has served as the Executive Director of Exodus 90 since 2015. He attended St. John Vianney Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota and St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana before discerning God was calling him to marriage and secular life. In 2015, supported by his Board, James assumed responsibility for scaling Exodus 90 from a seminary formation program into a spiritual exercise for the renewal of the Church. James presented at the 2019 Petrus Leadership Conference, which took place in Oklahoma City on June 23-26. This is the audio recording of his presentation.



For more information about Exodus 90 or to connect with James, visit www.exodus90.com or email him at support@exodus90.com


Giving to religious causes vastly exceeds any other category in the nonprofit sector, but faith-based organizations often struggle the most with fundraising effectively. Join Andrew Robison,...

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PLC 2019: Presentation by John Flynn on the Petrus Development Show


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



Giving to religious causes vastly exceeds any other category in the nonprofit sector, but faith-based organizations often struggle the most with fundraising effectively. Join Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development, as he explores this topic through honest and revealing conversations with church leaders, executive directors and development professionals from the nonprofit community.

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Summertime Suggestions

annual fund basics Jun 12, 2019

Summertime is upon us again. Whether that means a break from 300 inches of snow or entering into a time of scorching 100 degree afternoons, summer is most definitely a time to enjoy a break from the hectic life of school, sports, meetings, and more. So what are you going to do with your summer free time?

At the risk of offering too many ideas and “harshing your summer vibe,” here are a few suggestions for the next few months.

  1. Take a look back on the past year and remember what worked really well and what did not. Some people like to make lists and some people just like to spend an hour or so recapping in their minds. Wherever you fall, this time can be incredibly valuable from a “learn from the past” point of view. If you feel inspired, plan a lunch with some of your coworkers and put together a SWOT list from your ministry. Looking back and looking forward are always easier to do when life is slightly calmer so you may surprise yourself with how clear your...
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Continuing the Legacy: Interview with David Pederson on The Petrus Development Show


David Pederson has been the Director of Development for the Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix since 2013. He has worked in development for over ten years at multiple Catholic campus ministries and the Diocese of Phoenix. In this episode, Andrew and David explore the basics of planned giving: What is it? What types of gifts are made in this type of giving? As well as how to approach donors about planned giving and how to begin a program like that at the Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix. David offers practical advice for the development professional wanting to explore planned giving as an option for future growth of their ministry.



Show Notes:

  • David Grew up in Minnesota. Non Catholic. Went to Minnesota State University in Mancato. Met his wife, who was Catholic and asked him to come to Mass with her.
  • Not a big enough space in the Newman Center for Mass.  Got involved at the Newman Center and he started talking with the priest...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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