Petrus Development Show Episode 4 – Tara Doyon: Building the Kingdom of God

Interview with Tara Doyon on The Petrus Development Show

Tara Doyon, Director of Development and Mission Advancement, St. Paul Catholic Center at Indiana University; Consultant, Petrus Development 

In this episode, Andrew visits with Tara Doyon, Director of Development and Mission Advancement at St. Paul Catholic Center at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Tara began her career in development at St. Paul in 2009 despite having no formal training in fundraising. She learned quickly the benefit of surrounding herself with great mentors and advisors and has had a huge impact on the Hoosier Catholic ministry. In this episode, Tara and Andrew discuss what she focused on in the beginning to be successful, her thoughts on Catholic stewardship and her current capital campaign project at St. Pauls.

Show Notes:

  • Tara had a great mentor from the very beginning who helped coach her in the best ways to fundraise. One piece of advice was that there are no donors sitting in your office, you have to get out of the office to meet the donors where they are.
  • LIA Principle: Linkage, Interest and Ability – how is a donor connected to your organization, what is their interest in your organization and do they have the ability to make a financial gift to your organization
  • When your organization is just starting a development program, Tara recommends casting a wide net. You need connections with many people from many networks to build a strong development foundation.
  • Development Office is responsible for maintaining the continuity of the message when leadership changes.
  • Mentality of tithing is different from paying bills. It is an opportunity to participate in ministry and priests and lay ministers should not be ashamed to talk about giving and to ask for donations.
  • Organizations need to be able to accept donations in the currency that their donors are using. St. Paul Catholic Center was the first church in the diocese to offer a giving kiosk in the church for parishioners and students to use for their tithe. Now, they offer Venmo as an giving tool. Tara prefers that because it integrates with their database and accounting software.
  • Tara is currently working on a capital campaign to renovate the bottom floor of their parish hall. They went through a planning process whereby they developed a master plan, conducted a feasibility study and then launched a campaign. A previous diocesan campaign was not done well and made many in the community wary of supporting another campaign. St. Paul’s learned how strong the feelings were during the feasibility study interviews and spent extra time explaining the case and specifics of the campaign. They recently launched the public phase of their campaign and donors are responding very generously.
  • St. Paul’s had a cash reserve when they began their campaign and Tara believes that was useful. However, she recognizes that not every organization can wait until they have savings. Sometimes, the situation requires that the institution move forward with a major initiative despite not having a reserve or despite not feeling 100% ready.
  • Tara recommends reading articles from the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University and Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). These articles can provide tips and advice but are shorter and easy to consume.
  • Book recommendations:

For more information about Tara Doyon and her work and to connect with him, visit or

Show Transcript:

Transcript is not yet available. Check back soon.

Giving to religious causes vastly exceeds any other category in the nonprofit sector, but faith-based organizations often struggle the most with fundraising effectively. Join Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development, as he explores this topic through honest and revealing conversations with church leaders, executive directors and development professionals from the nonprofit community.

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