JoAnn Shull joined the Petrus Team in 2021 as a Consultant for Petrus Development.
Prior to joining Petrus, JoAnn served as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Missouri. She then became a client with Petrus, being trained as the first Development Director at the Newman Center and beginning the development program.
JoAnn is a graduate of Quincy University with a Master's in Theological Studies and Truman State University with a B.A. in Communications. She is also a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and is a certified campus minister through the Catholic Campus Ministry Association.
As a Consultant for Petrus, JoAnn works with clients to help them transform their ministries through development. JoAnn believes that stewardship is key to the life of a disciple and that development programs can help people fulfill their call as a steward through philanthropy. Giving not only allows ministries to advance the Kingdom of God, but can also bring great joy to the giver.
JoAnn lives in Columbia, Missouri with her husband, Kyle, and their three children. They are members of the St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbia, MO.
Communications, Database Management, Events
How has your career evolved since its beginning?
“After college, I worked a year in my alma mater's Admissions Office as an admissions counselor. Since Truman is heavily Catholic, they often sent the Catholic seniors to me so that I could share a bit about how being involved in a faith community could enhance the college experience. When a position opened up at Mizzou's Newman Center in campus ministry, I thought I could take my niche role and turn that into a full-time job! I worked as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry from 2008 until 2016. In 2016, we began to feel a stretch in our finances as FOCUS' growth on our campus meant that more students were going on retreats, attending events, etc. Our solution was to formally begin a development office, with the help of Petrus. We needed $40,000 in hand before the parish would commit to the endeavor, so as a campus minister, I worked to raise the funds needed to hire "someone else." Well, that "someone else" ended up being me! Tara Doyon served as our consultant and trained me to be a fundraiser. Since then, I spent 5 years forming up our development programs, were we've seen a huge increase in financial support for the ministry. In an effort to spend more time with my family, I left my full-time role at Newman in September 2021 and will work primarily as a consultant with Petrus and freelancer with my own business, JShull Design.”
“Earning my CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) in the middle of a pandemic! Also, starting a development office from scratch and seeing it grow - and the ministry which it funds grow as a result.”
What mistakes and valuable lessons have you learned from?
“Our God is a God of abundance. Don't sell yourself, your ministry, or your mission short because you doubt the great work of God. Pray, then act on where you feel that God is calling you. If he says "no," then you have listened faithfully. If you say "no" before giving God a chance, you've missed out on an opportunity to let the Lord work through you. Get your feet under yourself before diving into too many areas. Though you shouldn't neglect your donors at any point in the game, focus on infrastructure at the beginning - getting your database in order, writing that case statement, having a donor acknowledgement plan, finalizing your gift acceptance policy. A solid foundation will help you work more efficiently in the future and better steward the gifts that fund your ministry. Don't bite off more than you can chew. You can't start 5 new programs in one quarter and do them all justice. Make a strategic plan - adjust if necessary - but stick to it. It is better to do a couple of things really well than many mediocre things.”
Favorite thing about development?
“I love hearing the uniqueness of each ministry that is still drawn back to the one mission we have - the Great Commission - to make disciples of all nations. It's wonderful to see ministries work hard, achieve their goals, and advance their mission. Plus, I always learn something too! People are more generous than you can imagine. God has given us all many blessings. When people are in tune to hear God in their life, their response is beautiful. We have the great blessing of walking with people as they discern God's call and how they are called to respond with their gifts. Trust in the process, trust in God, and He will provide.
Every ministry has something amazing going on. As a consultant, I want to be able to learn about the ministry and make suggestions about how to take those gifts build on them. I'm not afraid to challenge someone to step out of their comfort zone and do the thing that's hard for them. Because fundraising is hard work! But, it's also rewarding when you take that risk and trust in the Lord. My goals are to help ministries set up good habits that are sustainable into the future and set up for the growth that they're going to see if they trust in the plan!”
JoAnn Shull: Making the Transition