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Petrus Blog

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Three Quick Tips to Improve Your Donor Visits


By Mary Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor


Donor meetings can be intimidating to both new and experienced development professionals, but they also have the potential to be such fruitful blessings to our ministry.  In my years of fundraising, I've developed a series of steps that helps me prepare and plan before my donor meetings.

Prayer

In a previous life, I spent 11 years in technical sales for a large computer company. Before I made an important call or presentation, I would say the prayer to the Holy Spirit. I memorized this prayer in second grade—long before I understood the words. The prayer is very “all purpose.” I used it before tests in high school and college, difficult conversations, and sales calls. The prayer doesn’t ask for a specific outcome, but requests God’s inspiration for the work I was about to do. 

In the corporate world, my prayer was a private endeavor, with me grabbing a bit of silence away from coworkers, often in the...

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Petrus Development Conference Testimonial



By Meghan Larsen-Reidy, Campus Minister, Diocese of Pittsburgh


My background is in ministry and not in development; however, the pandemic made it impossible to continue doing ministry without fundraising. There was a reduction in the funding source of my job’s budget, and in order for it to continue, I needed to begin fundraising. Suddenly the Petrus Development Conference, which had not been on my radar before Covid-19, seemed like the most logical event to attend in order to learn more. Although I was initially intimidated because of my lack of prior experience and knowledge of the other attendees, I was at ease after the first few sessions.  I was inspired to hear about the growth one ministry in particular had because of strategic fundraising.  The lessons shared were ones I could easily apply to my own situation. Throughout the few days, the talks varied between practical development strategies, inspiring stories of serious growth in ministries, and useful...

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Out of the Rut and On Mission

 


By Bryan Wilburn, Director of Development, St. Paul’s Newman Center at NDSU


What can you do when you’re in a rut? 

I suppose one option would be to stay there. To act as if it’s not happening and try to power through on your own. Oftentimes though, the first step to getting better is admitting something is wrong. 

This was where I found myself two and half years into my professional fundraising career. I had achieved a moderate level of success in annual giving and even some major giving for our Newman Center’s capital campaign. Even so, I was in a rut. There seemed to be so much more to fundraising, which I felt I wasn’t reaching. I would tell myself, “maybe I’m just not cut out for this.” It was then that my astute supervisor encouraged me to go to my first Petrus Conference in 2018.

To understand why I was in a rut, I want to acknowledge a real truth: fundraising is hard. Not only is fundraising hard as a...

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Catholic Campus Ministry is a Generational Mandate - An Interview with Mike St. Pierre on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Dr. Mike St. Pierre, Executive Director of Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA).  When Mike joined CCMA in 2015, he was able to bring new life and new energy to the organization. Andrew and Mike discuss CCMA, how Mike decided to leave a successful career in Catholic schools to lead the organization, and about his approach to remote work…even before it was cool. They are also able to discuss the importance of professionalism and how to organize your schedule using an Agile method. Be sure to listen till the end for Andrew's Key Take-Aways. 


Show Notes:

In 1893, Timothy Harrington, founded the Newman Club at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1908, the Federation of Catholic College Students (FCCS) was established at Purdue University. 42 years later, in 1950, the National Newman Chaplains Association was established for ordained chaplains at non-Catholic colleges and universities. And then in 1969, the...

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New Year! New Info to Help You Grow Your Team!


By Mary Hernandez, Petrus Blog Contributor


The newest release of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) annual Compensation and Benefits Study is timed perfectly for organizations creating a strategic plan to start or grow their development team in the new year. We've limited the scope of the 178-page report to look at key findings from the United States in religious, higher education, and human services sectors.

The data takes some of the mystery out navigating compensation for development professionals, who are integral to making your development program successful. By looking holistically at professional compensation relative to organization budget, team size, geographic region, and several other data points, you will better understand how growing your team may impact your budget. 

Organizations should be mindful that statistics and numbers only tell a part of the story. These data points do not measure the intangible qualities that ultimately make a...

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What Development Means to Me by JoAnn Shull


By JoAnn Shull, Petrus Consultant


I’m going to be really honest with you, dear reader, in that for the vast majority of my life I had no idea what this idea of “development” was or that I would end up in a career that I didn’t even know existed.  

Growing up, my family was not church-going, but I fell into going to the youth group at my parish thanks to some high school friends.  My involvement at church and my relationship with Christ grew into my college years where I stayed very active in my Catholic Newman Center at Truman State University.  In an unfortunate twist of events, two weeks after I graduated from college, my Newman Center was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.  My bike – which was still chained to the bike rack outside the center – was warped from the heat of the flames.  

This was a huge shock for me.  A place that was so formative in my faith was gone.  All that remained...

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Heroic Pastors; Amazing Parishes - An Interview with Kevin Cotter on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Kevin Cotter, Executive Director of Amazing Parishes, a ministry of the church that offers instruction and education to pastors as well as coaching to help them develop a team around them to make their parish amazing. We all know and have experienced our church leadership transitioning over the years. Many priests and pastors struggle to know how to lead and how to build up an enduring leadership team that can survive those transitions, illustrating a point that parish leadership is so important and critical to the community and to the lives of the parishioners. In this episode, Andrew and Kevin dive into this issue as well as discussing the importance of the apprenticeship model in the church and the need for a strong prayer life both personally and professionally. 

Amazing Parish will be gathering for their 2021 conference in Kansas City on June 21-23. Please pray for everyone involved in that and if you want more information...

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Legend of the Bluebonnet


By Sarah Rose, Petrus Consultant


“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” - St. Teresa of Calcutta

Spring is here! In Texas, that means the bluebonnets are in full bloom. These gorgeous blue flowers bring joy to so many people - including myself!

Growing up, The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola was one of my favorite books. It is the perfect book for any wildflower lover in Texas. Now it is a storytime go-to for my little ones.

Tomie dePaolo recounts the tale of how the beautiful bluebonnet flower came to be. It is a story about a Comanche girl who makes a transformational gift - a gift that not only meets the needs of her community, but also transforms the Texas hill country. 

To view a video of a reading of the book, click here.

The legend takes place during a terrible drought and famine. The Comanche people lament, “Great Spirits, the land is dying! … Tell us what we must do.” As things worsen, the Shaman announces that...

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To the Next Level - Interview with Josh Whelan on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Josh Whelan, Vice President and Senior Consultant of Petrus Development. This is the first episode of Season 3 for the Petrus Development Show. In this episode, we get to know Josh and hear some of his history which has led him to his work today. Andrew and Josh talk about Josh's experience in development and philanthropy. As well as Josh's faith and how to find the best practices for your organization and, ultimately, your personal journey. 


Show Notes:

At the time of this interview, Josh is celebrating his one year anniversary as VP of Petrus Development.

Josh attended the University of Mississippi and graduated in 2004. He worked for 1 year in psychology clinic and realized that while he wanted to help people, he did not what to help as a psychologist. He went back to school and earned his masters degree.

After his Master's Program he worked for the University of Mississippi Foundation. Then as the VP of sales for small company...

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