Petrus Development is one of the only consulting firms around that can work with a ministry no matter what their needs are and what stage their development program is at. Whether your organization is ready to fundraise for a new building or you are just trying to send out your first newsletter, Petrus can help.
Our services are divided into three areas based on needs of your ministry:
Form > Build > Grow.
Our FORM services focus on ministries just getting started with fundraising. We want to help set your program off on the right foot and in the right direction. This time is really about forming a strong foundation through a systematic annual fund strategy.
Our BUILD services work best with organizations comfortable with the direction and ready to take the next step of development. Oftentimes this means expanding outside of the annual fund and engaging donors and prospects in the major gift process.
Our GROW services are designed to help organizations really in need of significant expansion. This typically includes Feasibility Studies, Capital Campaigns and advanced Proposal and Data Analysis.
How do you know if you are in the FORM Stage?
Strategy: Not a crystal clear vision for future. In some cases, vision is simplified to just, “Grow the ministry.”
Development: Minimal previous fundraising efforts. Single funder or single source. Infrequent communication and little to no management of donors.
Data: No database or just a database of members (parishioners, participants, etc)
Lewis Carroll said it best in Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Vision and purpose are key if a ministry is going to move forward in the right direction. But what do you do if you have plenty of ideas and can’t decide which to pursue. In Catholic parishes and ministries this can often be the case. There are so many well-intended people offering advice on ideas and possibilities that it can be paralyzing for a priest or director to know how to choose. Gathering together key leaders and staff for the purpose of discussing all of the possibilities and discerning where God is calling you in now and in the future can be incredibly beneficial and life-giving. Out of a Visioning Day, short- and long-term objectives can be set and everyone can rally behind the priorities to make things happen. There are many formats to a Visioning Day, and Petrus is able and willing to work with your team to design a program that works best for your ministry.
Whether you are running a marathon, building a house or climbing a mountain peak, almost all successful achievements are a result of having three factors in common: a vision, a plan and a guide. The Petrus Annual Manual provides Catholic organizations desiring to grow their Annual Fund with a game plan built on best practices and proven strategies. Included in this 12-month program are a Development Calendar, access to a Digital Library of How to Guides and Samples, Weekly Emails with direction and encouragement and a weekly phone call with a Petrus Team Member to help provide personalized guidance and direction.
Every ministry is unique in where they are in their development program and what their immediate needs might be. The first step for determining how to begin is to assess your ministry’s starting point. This Program Assessment can often be conducted over the phone but a more intensive in-person assessment can be helpful in yielding more understanding and setting a better course to success.
In the development world, databases are used as a beginning point for relationship building. These databases can help track the number of ‘touches’, or the number of times an organization contacts an individual. These touches are what help the relationship grow between the organization and the donor. By using a database effectively, and in turn, by making fruitful touches with donors, organizations can see an increase in response rates and increases in donations. It is not uncommon for a nonprofit to see an increase of 500 percent or greater after setting up and utilizing a donor database. The importance of capturing quality donor information cannot be over emphasized. It can transformationally improve a development program. A Database Review conducted by Petrus can help understand what your database needs are and help set you up for success with incorporating best practices immediately.
How do you know if you are in the BUILD Stage?
Strategy: Leader is comfortable in ministry. Program has grown and now lacks funding to sustain or take the next step.
Development: Some communication and schedule of appeals. Sometimes strategic but not usually. Loved by many who are not aware of needs or plan.
Data: Giving is tracked and donors receive thank you’s and “informational” communications.
Our mission at Petrus Development is to teach religious organizations how to fundraise for themselves and open up their possibilities for growth. We want you to have the knowledge and skills to build your ministry’s development program so that the ministry can continue to expand and impact many more people. The Petrus Sustainable Development consulting program is designed to help you take that next step. Our experienced team of Petrus consultants spends time with our clients through a blended schedule of on-site meetings and weekly touch points by video, phone and email. The consultants provide direction and coaching specifically tailored to your ministry. In addition, you will receive access to dozens of how-to guides and hundreds of sample documents to make the process even simpler.
In the book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins stresses the importance of “getting the right people on the bus.” In other words, good organizations need a first-class team of people doing what they love and what they are good at in order to become a great organization. For nonprofits that have never hired a development director – or have hired someone who did not make the organization more successful – can be a challenge. Petrus Development has interviewed thousands of candidates over the years and has helped hundreds of organizations make the right choice for them. We understand what qualities are important to consider and what caution signs to be on the lookout for. Take confidence in the fact that we can help directors and boards be discerning and hire the right person for the job. This service is typically included in our sustainable development services but please contact us if you need a search as a stand-alone service.
It is all too common for organizations to take a leap of faith to hire a development officer, but then hire someone with little to no experience out of budgetary restrictions. Petrus Development believes that passion for an organization is an incredibly important attribute, but without experience or training and coaching, it is simply not enough. When working with our clients, our consultants spend time directly with executives and development staff in order to build strong and lasting relationships that lead to more trust and more effective consulting partnerships. It is these relationships that lead to effective coaching in both the art and science of fundraising.
Knowing who your donors are can make a huge difference in your ability to prioritize and maximize time and effort. A Data Analysis conducted by Petrus includes a wealth screening and strategic review of the donors and prospects in your pool.
How do you know if you are in the GROW Stage?
Strategy: Well formed vision for the future. Pieces in place but lacking the right resources for success.
Development: Strong annual fund. Some major annual donors. Competent development and administrative staff.
Data: Large list of donors and prospects. Can identify key individuals as “lead donors” and “connectors”.
A Campaign Planning Study, or Feasibility Study, is critical to determining whether your organization is ready to launch a successful capital campaign. Petrus can conduct a comprehensive Feasibility Study to help you answer the important questions when making your plans. Another benefit to a Feasibility Study is the role that it serves in the early cultivation of campaign donor prospects. People often feel honored to be asked for their input and learning early about a project can excite them for the prospect of supporting it later on. A Feasibility Study typically takes 4-6 months to plan and execute and includes the following elements:
- Preliminary Case for Support
- Key Confidential Individual Interviews
- Testing of Proposed Campaign Goals
- Analysis of Findings / Final Report
Capital campaigns have the ability to transform an organization and propel it to a higher level of service. What is a Capital Campaign? It is a set of fundraising and outreach initiatives focused on raising money for a specific defined need.
- Specific financial goal
- Defined timeframe for meeting goal
- Strong volunteer participation
- Focus on raising major gifts
Petrus consultants have expertise in all aspects of service needed for successful campaigns including feasibility studies, volunteer recruitment and management, special events, campaign literature and donor recognition and major gift solicitations.
In the fundraising world, we often talk about the “5 Rights for Making an Ask.” This means that when asking an individual to support your ministry, you should be asking the Right Person in the Right Place for the Right Amount toward the Right Project at the Right Time. Getting all of these things in order can make or break years worth of preparation and set a project on the right trajectory because of the support it is receiving. The Petrus Proposal Review is a way to have experienced consultants look over you materials and offer feedback on how to maximize success.
In a development program that is firing on all cylinders, grants often play a critical role in moving certain projects forward. However, grants can be extremely time-consuming and usually offer a very low rate of return so it’s not a good strategy to focus too much energy if the time is not right. Petrus Development can take a lot of the pressure off your organization by providing expert counsel on which grants to pursue and can even do the writing using techniques that have been proven to work. There is no guarantee when it comes to grant writing, but having experts in your corner developing strategy and preparing the proposals can improve your chances significantly.