Has your ministry been sending out the same old year-end appeal letter, year after year?
Is your appeal just a shot in the dark? You spend time getting the wording and layout just right, but you don't really know if it is moving the people who read it.
Is your letter even getting read by its recipients, or are most of them just dropping the envelope straight into the kitchen garbage can?
It's time to have confidence that you can design and send year-end appeals that bring your mission to your prospects and motivate them to participate by their financial support.
Let the Experts Show You the Way
On Tuesday, October 18, Petrus is bringing together three great experts to unpack the do's and don't's of appeal letters from every angle:
In this episode, we feature Dr. Adrian Sargeant, co-director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, as he gives his keynote address at the Petrus Development Conference in June. Dr. Sargeant shares his research about donor motivation and identity, and he discusses how we, as development professionals, can use his findings to increase giving to our parishes and ministries.
Dr. Adrian Sargeant comes to the Petrus Development Conference to share his experience in harnessing the power of donor motivation and identity in fundraising. Dr. Sargeant has significant experience teaching about philanthropy and fundraising, and he has authored several fundraising books including Building Donor Loyalty: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Increasing Lifetime Value.
Dr. Sargeant explains the donor motivation research he conducted with NPR. By changing the scripts NPR team members used with...
In this episode, Andrew visits with Juliette Picciano, former director of the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal for the Archdiocese of New York and current president of Cathedral High School in New York. (Juliette changed positions between when this podcast was recorded and when it was published!) Andrew and Juliette chat about Juliette’s work on the Cardinal’s Appeal and how her fundraising methods successfully adapted to the pandemic. The two also discuss trends in Catholic giving, and they highlight Juliette’s unique and successful hiring strategy.
Juliette is a graduate of Yale Divinity School, and when she applied for her first teaching job, she ended up working in the school’s admissions department. Juliette shares a touching story about the formational moment in which she decides to pursue a career in fundraising. After working in a variety of development positions for the...
By Jamie Cappetta, President, USC Caruso Catholic Center and Petrus Consultant
Like many development professionals, I didn’t start my career aspiring to be a fundraiser, but rather my aspiration was that of a professional baseball player. However, when I did not get drafted my senior year in college having played all four years at the University of Richmond, I decided to scratch the itch of the priesthood that had been ruminating in my heart for several years. The first step in that exploration was as a youth minister in South Boston for two years, followed by a year of discernment. During that discernment year, I worked at the Catholic Worker House in Philadelphia, the Christian Appalachian Project in Kentucky, and finally made a solo, three-month pilgrimage to Europe with one question in mind: “Lord, am I called to be a priest?”
Returning from that trip in May 2000, I confidently knew God was not calling me to the priesthood, but my heart...
By Mary Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor
Clarence, the wingless angel: We don’t use money in heaven.
George Bailey: It comes in pretty handy down here, Bub.
From the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
Note: I am not a lawyer, and the following is not legal advice—just my perspective and experience.
Less than half of the adults in the United States have a will or other estate planning documents. Actually, that’s not quite true. All of us have a will—either one created BY US or one created FOR US by our state government. Do you think your state government would distribute your property the same way you would?
If you haven’t made your own estate plans, please get busy on this—especially if you have minor children. Maybe you think you don’t have enough assets to worry about, or you’ve listed beneficiaries for your bank accounts and insurance policies. You still need a will and perhaps other estate planning...
In this 100th episode, Andrew visits with Bishop David Konderla from the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma. Andrew met Bishop Konderla when they worked together at St. Mary's Catholic Center in College Station, and the pair discusses the successes of the campus ministry’s multi-decade capital campaign. Bishop Konderla also offers insight and advice into how a bishop can (and cannot!) support parish and ministry fundraising campaigns in his diocese.
Bishop David Konderla was appointed as bishop to the Diocese of Tulsa in 2016. Prior to his appointment as bishop, Bishop Konderla served in various roles in the Diocese of Austin, including as the diocesan vocations director and as the pastor and director of campus ministry at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station.
Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma
The Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma is a very rural diocese. Bishop...
Funny story, we used a moving company and I had in my mind that they would load our furniture into a truck and drive straight to our new place. Well, as it turns out, they had two other stops on the way so we moved into our temporary apartment with our travel suitcases, our two dogs and whatever we brought with us in the car. It took about a week and a half for the rest of our belongings to make it to us so to give us a place to sit, our first purchase was a Walmart futon which served as our couch, bed and dining table for about 10 days. Lesson...
By Mary Hernandez, Petrus Blog Contributor
Your year-end appeal is about to get to the final proofing stage, and thankfully, there is still time to edit with a critical eye and include your donors as a key player in your messaging.
Your appeal likely includes these elements:
These glory stories and positive growth statistics are important and good to share with the reader, and they will undoubtedly lift their spirits and be a cause for hope. Yet, it is essential to remember that appeals are about you [the donor] and us [the ministry]. Making the donor visible in your ministry’s story is critical to a successful appeal and strengthening donor engagement.
I want to share some practical and real-life appeal examples with...
In this episode, the Blueprint for Development series is on it's third installment. Tara and Sarah are back with Annual Funds, also known as an operating budget or director's fund. How can you create a new or sustainable development program that doesn't depend solely on that one event or those 1-2 major donors? Tara and Sarah give some great starting tips on making that change from dependence to sustainable.
If you missed the first two episodes in this series, you can find them here:
Tara and Sarah are back in this third installment of the "Blueprint for Development" series, discussing Annual Funds, aka operating budget or director's fund.
This is your general operating funds that come in from donations. Funds that you can generally count on as part of your general budget.
Due to 2020, there's a need to look more critically at annual funds. Parishes especially have...
In this episode Tara Doyon, Director of Client Services and Sarah Rose, Director of Communications, continue leading us through the Blueprint of Development series. They discuss what your communication efforts look like today and what they can look like in the future once you implement a sustainable development program at your organization. You don't want to miss out on hearing the great first steps they give on how to begin transforming your messaging to be donor-centric so that you can continue building the Kingdom.
What you've seen
What communication materials are being sent out currently? Let's take an audit of your communications efforts. A lot of times it's only the Sunday church bulletin and maybe a website.
Tara's organization did an in depth audit with an outside consultant close to a decade ago and, while the bulletin was number one, they were able to dissect what it was about the bulletin that made it number one. What was it about this...