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Donor-Centered Language


By Mary Hernandez, Petrus Blog Contributor


Your year-end appeal is about to get to the final proofing stage, and thankfully, there is still time to edit with a critical eye and include your donors as a key player in your messaging. 

 

Your appeal likely includes these elements:

  • Transformative faith experiences of one or more students
  • A recap of the number and kind of students involved this year
  • A summary of a particularly successful ministry outreach event or retreat 

 

These glory stories and positive growth statistics are important and good to share with the reader, and they will undoubtedly lift their spirits and be a cause for hope. Yet, it is essential to remember that appeals are about you [the donor] and us [the ministry]. Making the donor visible in your ministry’s story is critical to a successful appeal and strengthening donor engagement.  

 

I want to share some practical and real-life appeal examples with...

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Women in Philanthropy Episode 4 with Sister Kathleen Lunsmann

The Women in Philanthropy podcast is back! Hosted by Tara Doyon, Director of Client Services and Sarah Rose, Director of Communications. In this episode they are joined by Sister Kathleen Lunsmann, President of Support Our Aging Religious (SOAR). This great conversation includes female roles in leadership, donor centric development and how this can transform an "ask" into a mission to build the Kingdom. They also discuss the power of listening and the gifts it can bring to you and to your donor. 


Show Notes:

Sister Kathleen Lunsmann is the President of Support Our Aging Religious. 

SOAR is a non-profit based in Washington, DC established in 1986. The organization supports Catholic sisters, priests and brothers. Specifically those who are aging and need support. 

Elderly religious continue to re-invent themselves. For example, learning a new language in their 80s.

Sarah met Sister Kathleen through the Nonprofit Alliance, and the Catholic Development...

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What Development Means to Me by Tara Doyon


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....

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Giving USA Report 2021


By Mary P. Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor & Local Charity Board Member


Latest Information on Giving Trends

Giving USA 2021: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2020 was released in June.  This report on the state of philanthropy is LONG and comprehensive, so I picked a few findings that 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 and you can purchase the full report here.

 

  • 2020 marked an all-time high in philanthropic giving.

More money was given last year than in any previous year studied, and about 5% more than in 2019. There are probably a number of reasons for this: (1) households whose incomes were NOT greatly affected by the pandemic, such as retirees on fixed incomes or those who stayed employed, felt a greater internal motivation; (2) investment value and the stock market recovery was high, which affects the wealth of...

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A Master Class in Major Gift Fundraising - An Interview with Patrick Williams on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Patrick Williams, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Texas A&M Foundation. In the world of development and philanthropy, there are a handful of people who you know were just built to be amazing fundraisers. My guest today is without question, one of those people. From building long-lasting and meaningful relationships, to understanding the art & science of fundraising, to knowing what it takes to recruit, train and retain a passionate and effective workforce and to having the courage to ask for and secure multi-million dollar gifts, Patrick is amazing. This podcast episode is quite literally a master class in major gift fundraising and I know that you won’t walk away from this without a list of strategies for success. 


Show Notes: 

Patrick is originally from small town Palestine, TX. He comes from a family of 14 kids and was a first generation college student to Texas A&M University. 

In...

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Women in Philanthropy Part 3 - An Interview with Jeannie Sager on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Sarah and Tara are continuing the conversation of Women in Philanthropy. In Part 3, they visit with Jeannie Sager, Director of the Woman's Philanthropy Institute. During this episode they discuss the transfer of wealth of women and women as professionals working in the development sector.


Show Notes:

Jeannie Sager, Director of Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

Gender matters within philanthropy. Women and men have different motivations for giving and different ways of practicing their philanthropy.

Three core findings from 10 years of research:

  • Women’s wealth is rising
  • Women are more likely to give
  • Women give differently

More and more, women have more access to education, income and wealth. And these three things are predictors for philanthropy.

Research reports are available online at https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/institutes/womens-philanthropy-institute/newest-report/index.html

 

What types of organizations are at the top of...

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Women in Philanthropy - An Interview with Kerry Robinson on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode of the Petrus Development Show, Andrew turns the mic over to Sarah Rose and Tara Doyon for the three part series, "Women in Philanthropy."

Today, 54% of adults who identify as Catholic are women. Historically, beginning when Jesus charged Peter with maintaining and building the Church, and for 2000 years following, leadership in the Church has been predominantly male. However, we see changes in today's arena, where more women are involved in church leadership than ever before.

The reality is that we live in a time when having diversity of thought and background in our society and our institution’s leadership is critical to being able to reach out and evangelize the world.  The need to engage women and the need to understand what that engagement should and could look like is more important than ever.

And at Petrus, we want to be part of leading and fostering that conversation. This episode, and the next 2 episodes will focus the guests and conversations...

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Career Counseling Panel - Interview with Frank Shannon, Valerie Pletcher and Dan Moraczewski on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Josh Whelan, Petrus Vice President, moderates the Career Counseling Panel with panelists: Frank Shannon, Valerie Pletcher and Dan Moraczewski. These three outstanding panelists have a combined 60 years experience in fundraising for the Catholic and non-profit sector and share great insights into the philanthropy world and the development career path. This interview originally took place during the Petrus Virtual Conference 2020.


Show Notes:

Introducing the Panelist -

Frank Shannon – Executive Director of Development at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station, TX

Valerie Pletcher – Sr. Philanthropy Officer, Mid-Atlantic and Europe at FOCUS

Dan Moraczewski – Sr. Consultant at Petrus Development

Josh Whelan – Vice President at Petrus Development, Moderator

 

Questions asked during the Career Counseling Panel:

  • What is the difference between working for Catholic campus ministry development vs outside of Catholic campus ministry...
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