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Freedom in Faith - An Interview with Frank Cummings on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew interviews Frank Cummings, Director of Development - Arts and Sciences for the Kansas State University Foundation.  Frank shares how he found a career in development that brings him joy, and how he especially enjoys the surprises that come as donor relationships grow.  Andrew and Frank also discuss how faith can play a role in development even if you’re raising funds for a secular organization.  

Show Notes

Background

After graduating from high school, Frank either wanted to be an Army Ranger or a Catholic priest.  He went to seminary for 4 years, but he eventually left the seminary and went to business school at Benedictine College.  After earning his MBA, Frank became a financial advisor because he wanted to serve people and help them be successful with their money, yet Frank didn’t find this career path to be as fulfilling as he hoped.  After trying a few other options, Frank found himself entering a career...

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Learning to Tell Your Story - An Interview with Eva Daniel on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew chats with Eva Daniel, public speaking coach and founder and owner of The Speak Shop.  Eva and Andrew discuss the importance of improving our public speaking and storytelling abilities.  Eva touches on the mistakes people make in their public speaking, and she offers solutions for improvement.     

Show Notes

Background

Eva was a speech major at Hillsdale College, and after graduation, she worked in radio.  Her radio experience led to a long-term radio show production career at Focus on the Family, and after that, Eva joined Dave Ramsey’s speech writing team.  Though Eva loved her positions at Focus on the Family and with Dave Ramsey, she decided to answer a long-felt call to own her own business. In August 2022, Eva made her entrepreneurial dream come true, and she opened The Speak Shop, her own speech coaching business.   

 

Life As a Speech Coach

Eva shares her firm belief that the single...

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Are The Dishes Supposed To Be Wet?

 


By Andrew Robinson, Petrus President


 

Recently, my family and I stayed in an Airbnb. I had an interesting encounter with an appliance that illustrates a problem that a lot of nonprofit leaders struggle with.

Your dishwasher can actually dry your dishes...

🤯

You’re probably wondering why this was so profound. I mean…all dishwashers dry dishes, correct?

Truth is, our home dishwasher does not. We turn on the settings to dry the dishes, but we ALWAYS unload soaking wet cups, plates and silverware. I just figured this was how all dishwashers work. It sort of dries them but they’re always going to be wet.

Hmmm. Weird, right?

You see, sometimes we think something is normal but without context with which to properly evaluate our beliefs, we can actually be dead wrong.

I see this all the time with nonprofits.

“Our fundraiser works really hard but doesn’t actually close many gifts…but I guess that's normal, right?”

“Our...

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Is Your Year-End Appeal Up To The Task?

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:

  • Stan Guimont, Account Manager at Palmer Non-Profit Communications on how to produce a profitable appeal letter
  • Michelle Sutton, Development Director at the Duke Catholic Center on how to use segmentation to make your letters feel more personalized and get...
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Required Minimum Distributions: A Case Study with a REAL Person


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 withdrawing from...

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Healthy Teams: Where Faith and Function Collide - A Talk by Matt Regitz on the Petrus Development Show

This episode of the Petrus Development show features the keynote address by Matt Regitz of Divine Renovation at the Petrus Development Conference (PDC) in June.  Matt joins conference participants to talk about the importance of healthy leadership teams in ministry.  By contrasting the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful teams, Matt outlines specific ways in which pastors and lay leaders can work together to build thriving parishes and ministries.

Show Notes

Background

Matt Regitz comes to the Petrus Development Conference to share his experience in creating healthy leadership teams for Catholic parishes.  Matt is a leadership coach for Divine Renovation, an organization dedicated to helping parishes build leadership teams that take the parish “from maintenance to mission.”  Divine Renovation recognizes and addresses the pastoral and administrative challenges that clergy face and, in turn, they help pastors build a...

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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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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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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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