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 episode, Andrew visits with Ryan Carney, Chief Advancement Officer of Society of St. Vincent de Paul. They discuss Ryan's journey with development and the challenges that he has experienced and conquered throughout his years with non-profits. They also discuss the work they are doing at St. Vincent de Paul and how he helped one local chapter back from a pretty bad case of mission creep. If you have ever dealt with mission creep or if you are struggling to identify your organizations true mission, you'll want to take notes.
He fell into development by accident. He had been able to attend an event where a presentation by Catholic Charities took place and that is where the introduction to non-profits and development took route. He graduated from the Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University.
After graduation, he found himself working to Enterprise where he was able to Rent a car to the current executive...
By JoAnn Shull, Petrus Consultant
I’m going to be really honest with you, dear reader, in that for the vast majority of my life I had no idea what this idea of “development” was or that I would end up in a career that I didn’t even know existed.
Growing up, my family was not church-going, but I fell into going to the youth group at my parish thanks to some high school friends. My involvement at church and my relationship with Christ grew into my college years where I stayed very active in my Catholic Newman Center at Truman State University. In an unfortunate twist of events, two weeks after I graduated from college, my Newman Center was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. My bike – which was still chained to the bike rack outside the center – was warped from the heat of the flames.
This was a huge shock for me. A place that was so formative in my faith was gone. All that remained...
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...
By Josh Whelan, Petrus Vice President and Senior Consultant
In 2000, I went to the University of Mississippi with the career goal of either becoming a psychologist or a lawyer.
My father is a psychologist, and like him, I want to help people. He is a person I greatly admire, and I often seek his wisdom and counsel. When I decided to become a psychologist, he advised me to intern in the field before investing in a PhD. I’m glad I took that advice. A job with a community mental health clinic convinced me that while I wanted to help people, I did not want to do that in a clinical setting.
My next step was to talk to another mentor, the dean of students at Ole Miss. He guided me in clarifying that in addition to helping others, I enjoy working on a team and accomplishing tangible goals. Academic administration fit that criteria, and this led me to pursue a Master of Higher Education Administration. I entered the program thinking that someday I would be...
By Tara Doyon, Petrus Director of Client Services and Senior Consultant
Like many in a development-related profession, I had planned on a career in “something else.” When money was needed for organizations and programs that I cared about, I discovered and honed my development skills.
Growing up, I was active in the local YMCA and taught swimming. After college graduation with a degree in recreation and park administration, I moved from the Midwest to Hartford, Connecticut to work for the Y there. Unlike the YMCA of my hometown, this Y served those in the inner city and faced great financial challenges. All employees were expected to participate in the fundraising effort.
My first experience in fundraising was a phone-a-thon for that Y in the 1990s. We had a list of people, and we cold-called them. We talked about our great programs, and asked them to make a gift. To keep us motivated, the Y recognized callers for their results....
In this episode, Andrew visits with Sarah Du Preez, Director of Development for the St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish at University of Arkansas. Sarah started in her role last summer, which happened to be the same week that the ministry kicked off a feasibility study for a $12.5 million dollar capital campaign. They discuss Sarah's experience in development and her track record of success working on big projects, as well as being nervous and a bit apprehensive about her new role because of the enormity of the project they are in the midst of.
Today, they are sitting down together at the official launch of the campaign and next year, they will sit down again for a part 2 conversation about what she has learned through the process. And we are pleased to be here for the journey!
Sarah Du Preez, Director of Development for the St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish at University of Arkansas.
This is part 1 of A Campaign Story
Grew up in...
By Mary Hernandez, Petrus Blog Contributor
What is it about a photograph that draws a person in and compels one to fixate on the point of interest long enough to find himself somewhere in that captured landscape?
My photographer friend Amy explained the Rule of Thirds in photography - which is not so much a rule as it is a principle – that tells us "how the human eye perceives beauty."
"Our eyes are drawn to the brightest, most compelling parts of an image. That point is made compelling because of how it is framed, what surrounds it, and what relation it has to the picture as a whole.” Practically speaking, "the composition of a photo places the subject at the intersection that is divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. " This is known in the photography world as the crash point. Amy goes on to explain, "As a whole, it tells a story, and we are drawn to the whole story, not just the singular collection of pixels that makes...
In this episode we are introduced to the first of a four-part series "Blueprint for Development." This series will take you in-depth on how to create a successful development program and putting in place the building blocks you'll need to insure it's sustainability. Join Andrew and Petrus Consultant, Sarah Rose, as they dive into how to set up and create an infrastructure for your organization and your development goals. This "set up" is crucial to insuring that your foundation will remain strong over time.
The interviews on this show are about identifying people who are leaders in development and how they've created programs that work. But we want to know what the building blocks are and how we get there.
These episodes will be covering topics on Infrastructure, Communications, Annual Fund and Major Gifts.
There's so much focus on the here and now that it's hard to take the time to look into the future of what it could look...
By Mary P. Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor & Local Charity Board Member
March Madness and Fundraising
March Madness is upon us! I love basketball and I love this time of year. Winning teams have different strategies, and I can’t help comparing them to fundraising practices.
Big Star Strategy in Basketball
Over the past two years, a team I followed recruited a REALLY GREAT player. The coaches designed their game strategy around this player. Other players tried to get him the ball and let him score. The team enjoyed a level of success for a while. Then the players who wanted a more active role transferred to other teams. Also, at times, the star player had an off game, or got injured. The rest of the team had trouble stepping up to win.
Big Star Strategy in Fundraising
What can this teach us about fundraising? Big Stars in fundraising have the means and interest in making gifts that can jumpstart or transform your ministry. Focusing on them is a great...