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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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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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Live Big, Love Bigger: Interview with Kathryn Whitaker on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Kathryn Whitaker: Catholic wife and mother of six, Business Owner, Graphic Designer, Blogger, and Author of Live Big, Love Bigger. Andrew and Kathryn discuss her professional background and her work in graphic design, especially with Catholic non-profits, with great tips, including the importance of cohesiveness in your brand and telling your ministry's story. They also discuss Kathryn's book, an extension of her blog, which sprung from the traumatic birth experience of her fifth child, and led to a more intentional, Christ-centered family life.

 


Show Notes:

Background in Communication, Agriculture, and Construction
 
Met husband at A&M and converted from Evangelical Protestantism. Her husband worked as a stewardship and development director. They developed a passion and love for the Catholic Church and letting people know what beautiful things happen in the Church. In her professional life she learned a lot about design and...
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Four Proven Steps To Achieving A Giving Day “Win”


By Julie Kenny, National Program Director for iGiveCatholic


Participation in a giving day by nonprofit organizations is becoming more popular with every passing #GivingTuesday. I like to think of giving days as the evolution of telethons! Thinking back to the Jerry Lewis telethon every Labor Day to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), our family tuned in every fall to watch. Having classmates with the disease, my siblings and I, as well as seemingly our entire school, volunteered to wash cars, bake goods, and staff a table at our parish rummage sale donating all proceeds for the cause. We couldn’t wait to see what the grand total raised would be to help our friends!

As National Program Director for #iGiveCatholic, I recognize this same excitement and engagement as thousands of Catholic organizations prepare for the annual giving day held on #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, I see how participation in...

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Opened Envelopes, Opened Hearts: Interview with Stan Guimont on The Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew speaks with Stan Guimont, Account Manager with Palmer Non-profit Communications, a commercial direct mail provider that works with the general non-profit world. Stan has been an account manager with Palmer since 2005. As an air force veteran, Stan began working in advertising in the mid eighties, then spent some time as a radio account executive. He then worked for a publishing company whose clients were mostly non-profits. Stan has found a fulfilling career with Palmer using his creativity and natural sales ability to help his clients. He demonstrates a deep and genuine care for his clients and their needs and provides a wealth of knowledge about direct mail best practices.



Show Notes:

Stan has been an account manager with Palmer Non-profit Communications since 2005.
 
 
Palmer Non-profit Communications is a commercial direct mail provider that works with the general non-profit world, faith based organizations, etc.
 
 
He does a...
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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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Selling the Sizzle: Interview with Frank Shannon on The Petrus Development Show


Frank Shannon, Executive Director of Development at St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M University 


In this episode, Andrew visits with Frank Shannon, Executive Director of Development at St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M University. Frank and Andrew covered a variety of topics, including Frank’s career before St. Mary’s, how he transitioned from 25 years in higher ed to a Catholic ministry and how the current campaign at St. Mary’s is going.



Show Notes:

  • Frank’s first job out of college was as a loan officer for the Stephenville Savings and Loan but left the S&L business to became a development officer at Texas A&M after a call from Bob Walker, Vice President for Development at the Texas A&M Foundation.
  • Frank’s training at Texas A&M mostly came from going on donor calls with Bob Walker and other senior development officers. It was during a meeting with Pat Zachry, long-time donor for A&M,...
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