By Mary Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor
Cecilia (not her real name, but everything else is true) is an energized Catholic. She aims to
attend daily Mass and give her time, talent, and treasure to help others. She owns and maintains
her own home, and her son is “launched,” earning his own way in the world.
An accountant by profession, she retired 10 years ago at age 62 because that was the age of her
mother when she died. The decision to retire came after much prayer and discernment. With the
retirement plan from her job plus social security, Cecilia more than covers her expenses. In
addition, she has a traditional IRA, but because she doesn’t need those funds to live, she lets the
IRA money continue to grow.
Often, our senior benefactors, like Cecilia, view their IRAs as nest eggs—they don’t need the
available funds to live on, but they like having extra money for future expenses. However, when
they reach age 72, they MUST start...
By Mary Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor
Latest Information on Giving Trends
Giving USA 2022: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021 was released in June. The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy researched and wrote the report.
The following are highlights that I thought would interest Petrus clients and blog readers. The opinions expressed below are my own. If you would like more detail, summary information is available for free here. You can subscribe to the ENTIRE report here.
In 2020, the year that we adjusted our fundraising programs and expectations due to COVID, more money was given than in any previous year studied--and about 5% more than in 2019. See last year’s blog post for my analysis of why 2020 was a time of great generosity.
When adjusted for inflation, the amount given in 2021 was essentially flat. So, the bad news is that...
In this episode, we feature Jacob Laskowski, founder and creative director of 86, and we present his recent keynote address from the Petrus Development Conference in June. Jacob shares his experience in brand development and storytelling, and he highlights ways that professional fundraisers can use the essential elements of brand management to draw donors closer to their organization’s mission and subsequently raise more money for their ministry.
Jacob Laskowski comes to the Petrus Development Conference to share his experience in brand development and storytelling. After winning a 2nd grade art contest, Jacob leaned into his enjoyment of art, grew his talent, and eventually realized he could use his art skills as a career. After working as a FOCUS missionary and as FOCUS’s creative director, Jacob founded 86, a firm that helps organizations and ministries with their messaging, brand identities, and marketing...
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 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.
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...
In this episode, Andrew visits with Mary Macuga, the director of the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Mary has 22 years of experience in Catholic fundraising, and she and Andrew chat about the unique challenges of fundraising in different parts of the world and the universal need to be authentic and transformed in our fundraising.
Mary began her career in development at the Catholic Newman Center at Arizona State University. During her years at Arizona State, Mary learned everything she could about fundraising, and she received her MA in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. After her years fundraising for the Newman Center, Mary worked for a Catholic foundation in Phoenix, and eventually, she and her family made the move to Australia where Mary took the position as director of the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
The Catholic Foundation (Archdiocese of...
In this episode, Andrew visits with Mark Randall, the executive director of the Pontifical North American College (a.k.a the NAC). Together, Andrew and Mark share about their fundraising adventures, and Mark offers advice for startup ministries and seasoned fundraising professionals.
Mark has a fun and varied background. He began his professional career in the food and beverage industry in Chicago, after which he learned to be a chocolatier and started a gourmet food company. After helping to start a software company, Mark applied for his first position in Catholic fundraising, and from there, he has raised money for several Catholic schools and ministries. He is currently the executive director of the NAC in Rome.
Pontifical North American College
The Pontifical North American College (the NAC) is a seminary located just outside the Vatican for the formation of diocesan priests from the U.S. It was...
Hosted by Tara Doyon, Director of Client Services and Sarah Rose, Director of Communications.
In this episode Tara and Sarah are joined by Leticia Ochoa-Adams, Writer and Speaker. They discuss being "poor" in the Catholic Church as well as grieving a great loss and how the church responds. Find out what the similarities are when giving as a donor and giving as a community rallying around one of their own.
Leticia Ochoa Adams is a born and raised Tejana who loves bluebonnets, longhorns and Texas shaped waffles. She writes and speaks on faith, grief and suicide loss because after the loss of her oldest son Anthony to suicide she saw a lack of space for honest grieving and acknowledgement of trauma so she set out to create one.
Inspired by other women who have a passion and gift for storytelling like Jen Fulwiler, Nora McInerny and Stephanie Wittles Wachs who all make stories on their own terms, Leticia set out to do the same which is to use storytelling as...
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...