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...
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...
By Matt Bond, Director of Development at St. John's Catholic Student Center at Oklahoma State University
As many people in our field, I fell into the profession of development by happenstance. A great priest walked into a classroom of my former student center where my sister-in-law just happened to be sitting and said I’m looking for … and he proceeded to list a number of attributes he was looking for in a development director. She said, “call my brother-in-law” and it was all downhill or uphill, depending on the specific point in my career, from there. Truthfully, I had no idea what I was getting into and looking back through the rear-view mirror, I really had no idea.
When it comes to ministry, I have a unique take. I came from a ministry position where I was leading all of the programming, each year I was given a budget, and I led the team. Now, I am a development professional helping ministries fund their programming.
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 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...
Welcome to Season 4 of the Petrus Development Show. Today Andrew is joined by our newest team member, Joelle Fitzmaurice, Junior Consultant with Petrus Development. In this episode, Andrew and Joelle visit about her background, what brought her into the fundraising world and what she’s learning and doing so far with Petrus.
While she now resides outside of Washington D.C., Joelle is originally from small town Wisconsin. When deciding on college, it was important to her to keep her Catholic faith during college and decided on Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. During college she interned with the Alumni Program which was her first stint in fundraising. After college she worked in politics before being called into missions and connected with FOCUS, where she worked for two years. In June of 2021, she came on board at Petrus Development.
Fundraising for FOCUS
How did participants react to fundraising? Those that are familiar with fundraising...
By Rhen Hoehn, St. Albert the Great University Parish Development Director, Houghton, Michigan
I grew up in a Catholic family that practiced the faith. While I was preparing for confirmation, I went on a NET (National Evangelization Team) retreat. This retreat plus the grace of the sacrament energized me even more to be a better Catholic.
After I started college at Michigan Technological University, I became very involved with St. Albert the Great University Parish. I attended Mass, and Catholics in my dorm invited me to parish activities and events. For three year I was a “chapel rat,” one of a group of six students who, in exchange for an apartment, did maintenance chores around the parish. Houghton is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With an annual average snowfall of more than 200 inches, that involved a lot of shoveling!
My first development experience was a job to help raise money to fix the church’s leaking roof. I took the job because I needed...
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 Josh Whelan, Vice President and Senior Consultant of Petrus Development. This is the first episode of Season 3 for the Petrus Development Show. In this episode, we get to know Josh and hear some of his history which has led him to his work today. Andrew and Josh talk about Josh's experience in development and philanthropy. As well as Josh's faith and how to find the best practices for your organization and, ultimately, your personal journey.
At the time of this interview, Josh is celebrating his one year anniversary as VP of Petrus Development.
Josh attended the University of Mississippi and graduated in 2004. He worked for 1 year in psychology clinic and realized that while he wanted to help people, he did not what to help as a psychologist. He went back to school and earned his masters degree.
After his Master's Program he worked for the University of Mississippi Foundation. Then as the VP of sales for small company...