Petrus Development Show Episode 5 – Peter de Keratry, CFRE: Into the Deep

Interview with Peter de Keratry, CFRE on The Petrus Development Show

Peter de Keratry, CFRE, Executive Director of Stewardship and Advancement, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City; Co-Founder & CEO, Petrus Development 

In this episode of The Petrus Development Show, Andrew visits with Peter de Keratry, Executive Director of Stewardship & Development for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as well as co-Founder of Petrus Development. Peter’s first real job in development started while he was still an undergraduate at Texas A&M, raising money for the St. Mary’s Catholic Center. Since then, Peter has had a significant impact on the development landscape across the Church and around the world. In this episode, Peter and Andrew talk about how Peter learned the art and science of fundraising, why and how they founded Petrus Development and what Peter thinks is the most important thing that any development professional can do for his or her organization.

Show Notes:

  • Peter began his development career as a student at Texas A&M working on a building campaign for St. Mary’s Catholic Center. He can still remember his first time attending St. Mary’s when he “felt the hair on the back of my neck the first time I stood in Church and sang the Our Father.”
  • Fr. Mike Sis invited Peter to help raise $4M to a build a new student center and chapel for St. Mary’s. It took over 3 years but they were successful. Peter attributes much of that success to the team of committed volunteers that Fr. Mike assembled to help. They had a core team of three couples: Vince and Judy Sweat, George and Mary Elizabeth Dresser, and Kevin and Anne O’Neill. Also helping was Dr. Ed Davis, Frank Shannon, Porter Garner and many others.
  • Peter also met an alumnus named Carl Raba. Carl taught Peter a valuable lesson. In a meeting, Carl told Peter, “You are clearly very uncomfortable doing this. You need to stop apologizing and ask me for a gift. This is my outlet for impacting this ministry.”
  • After graduating, Peter went to work for CCS as a fundraising consultant. There he learned the value of “process” in fundraising. This helped him later on as he helped Frank Shannon run a successful $100M capital campaign for the Citadel.
  • Peter learned a valuable lesson from a donor at the Citadel. This donor encouraged him to “stop thinking of these gifts in the context of his own economics.” Major donors have significantly more wealth and capacity than development officers and can give greater amounts. Asks to donors should be “commensurate with the donors’ ability to give.”
  • After the Citadel, Peter founded Petrus along with John Flynn. Peter and John desired to help Catholic campus ministries learn how to fundraise so that they could reach more students on college campuses across the country. The Church has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Catholic colleges but very little in Catholic campus ministry. Since its founding, Petrus has worked with over 100 Catholic ministries. Peter feels proud to have been part of something that has affected the Catholic Church in such a positive way.
  • One of Peter’s favorite experiences as a consulting was working with Tim Kruse who worked for the campus ministry at the University of Wisconsin. Tim was overwhelmed after a Petrus Conference and Peter advised him to call three people, sit down with them in their home and ask each of them for $1,000 per year for 3 years. This the heart of what we have to do in development.
  • Peter is currently working for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Archbishop Coakley is leading the archdiocese in a capital campaign to build a shrine for Blessed Stanley Rother. Blessed Stanley served as a priest of the diocese and was martyred in Guatemala in 1981 for his faith. The people of Oklahoma have supported this project because they feel like “Blessed Stanley is our saint!”
  • Peter teaches young development officers that it is not okay to continue to ask for small gifts if they are professional development officers. As a professional fundraiser, people have got to be asking for gifts that are meaningful and impactful for the organization. “You’ve got to step it up a notch, both in activity and in what you are asking for.”
  • Peter also attended the Masters of Arts in Philanthropy and Development program at Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota:

For more information about Peter de Keratry and his 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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