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What Development Means to Me



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...

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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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"Run So As To Win" - An Interview with Craig Miller on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Craig Miller, the president of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.  Together, Andrew and Craig talk about FOCUS, its ministry to college students, and the organization’s unique fundraising challenges.  They also discuss the tremendous growth of campus ministry in recent decades and note how that important trajectory might continue in the future.  

Show Notes

Background

Before entering the world of Catholic fundraising and becoming president at FOCUS, Craig worked in the tech industry in California.  He and his family left California and moved to Colorado where, at a parish event, Craig first learned about FOCUS’s ministry.  Craig soon changed careers and joined FOCUS in its ministry to Catholic college students.

 

FOCUS in 2022

FOCUS currently serves nearly 200 college campuses with physical teams of missionaries on campus.  They also have digital teams ministering to another...

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Development Stewardship: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving this Lent


By Mary Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor


One of my favorite Bible stores is that of Queen Esther. Her uncle urged her to go before her husband, the king, to plead for the lives of her people. Also, because she went to the king without being summoned, she risked being executed herself. Talk about a lot of pressure in that “ask!” To prepare, Esther, her maids, and her people fasted and prayed for three days. 

 

While the work we do in development is vital to the life of the Church, I don’t think any of us have risked our lives to meet our financial goals. And unlike Queen Esther, we probably didn’t humble ourselves with dung and ashes on our heads either! Yet, Esther’s story teaches us that a good cause alone, one that God no doubt supports, may not be enough to bring about his will. If we want to harness the power of God, the Bible tells us that prayer, fasting, and action are “tools” that impact outcomes. 

 

These tools...

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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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The Catholic Church Should Never Settle

 


By Stephanie Mahoney, OSV Institute for Catholic Innovation
Originally published on www.osvinstitute.com on February 1, 2022


Describing the Catholic Church today, in this post-modern world of 2022, is to tell the story of the body of Christ being fully alive and under incredible adversity all at the same time.

We talk about the life of the Church in terms of what it is going through, but rarely through the lens of how we are responding to it in an intentional way.

Terms like never settle, ideate or iterate aren’t commonly used in ministry strategy conversations and on a smaller scale, we don’t even embrace every day opportunities to talk about Jesus with friends who we know aren’t religious. And perhaps it’s time we should.

Why Now?

Catholics are staggering out of a pandemic that closed churches on the cusp of Pew Research numbers that told us young people are leaving in droves faster than we can count. At the same time, it seems like there...

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Women in Philanthropy Episode 9 with Brenda Canella


Hosted by Tara Doyon, Director of Client Services and Sarah Rose, Director of Communications.


In this episode Tara and Sarah are joined by Brenda Canella of the Archdiocese of Denver. They discuss how Brenda went from being a full-time mother of five to working fulltime and how she integrated the two pieces of her world into one fulfilled life. Learn how to create a flexible work environment and how you can approach your employer for those changes. Brenda gives excellent advise on how to handle being a working mother when the culture may not approve. 


Show Notes:

Background

Brenda is originally from Houston, Texas and attended college for finance and accounting at the University of Houston.

She is currently the CFO for the Archdiocese of Denver, and oversees accounting, parish finances, treasury, information technology, legal and risk management. Team of 20 people. 

In 1999, she and her husband relocated to Colorado and she worked as a stay at home mother,...

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Viva Cristo Rey - An Interview with José Manuel de Urquidi on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode Andrew visits with José Manuel de Urquidi, founder and president of Juan Diego Network, a podcast network with over 70 shows highlighting Catholic stories for Latinos. Andrew and José discussed what José was thinking when he decided to launch a podcast network, what growing a podcast network has been like and how ministries and nonprofits can utilize podcasts to expand their mission.


Show Notes:

Background:

José is the oldest of six children. His parents were in ministry as he grew up in Mexico. As he grew up, he had a separation in his life between his church family and his school/social family. And it was in high school when he really started seeing the separation but it wasn't until after university that he began discovering how he could bridge the gap and create evangelization that would work for him.

 

Juan Diego Network

Currently, they have over 70 podcast shows as part of their network. A network typically...

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My Work Journey Part 1

The other day someone relatively new to development reached out to discuss his career trajectory and it gave me a great chance to reflect on my own career. In Part 1 of this 3 part story, I will share the story of my first job in development and why I left a great work environment and moved across the country. 

 

Sitting on my apartment couch in December 2004, about two days before graduation from Texas A&M University, I opened a letter I had received from Teach for America. I had applied to TFA and had (in my opinion) a really great interview. Thinking that I would be offered a job to work in an underserved school district somewhere in North Carolina or urban New York, I had not really put a lot of time and energy into a job search. Well, as things often happen, that letter informed me that “while I was a wonderful candidate for Teach for America, I would not be offered a position.” Uh oh...

 

Crushed and now a bit terrified, the first thing I did was...

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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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