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, 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.
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...
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...
In this 100th episode, Andrew visits with Bishop David Konderla from the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma. Andrew met Bishop Konderla when they worked together at St. Mary's Catholic Center in College Station, and the pair discusses the successes of the campus ministry’s multi-decade capital campaign. Bishop Konderla also offers insight and advice into how a bishop can (and cannot!) support parish and ministry fundraising campaigns in his diocese.
Bishop David Konderla was appointed as bishop to the Diocese of Tulsa in 2016. Prior to his appointment as bishop, Bishop Konderla served in various roles in the Diocese of Austin, including as the diocesan vocations director and as the pastor and director of campus ministry at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station.
Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma
The Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma is a very rural diocese. Bishop...
In this episode, Andrew visits with Justin DeMoss of Your Philanthropic Advisor, a seasoned fundraising professional, entrepreneur, and adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University. During this conversation, Andrew and Justin discuss the need for nonprofit organizations to be innovative and build trust with their donors and their community. They also discuss strategies for creating an organizational culture that embraces innovation and takes risks.
Justin entered the world of nonprofit fundraising when he was a FOCUS missionary raising support for his annual salary.
While studying to receive his M.A in Philanthropy and Development, Justin learned the value of mentorship and networking. He also studied ways that the nonprofit sector could learn from the sales and marketing techniques and the innovation of for-profit businesses.
Innovation and Change
Justin highlights the urgent need for nonprofit...
Funny story, we used a moving company and I had in my mind that they would load our furniture into a truck and drive straight to our new place. Well, as it turns out, they had two other stops on the way so we moved into our temporary apartment with our travel suitcases, our two dogs and whatever we brought with us in the car. It took about a week and a half for the rest of our belongings to make it to us so to give us a place to sit, our first purchase was a Walmart futon which served as our couch, bed and dining table for about 10 days. Lesson...
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.
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...
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...