A national fundraising organization founded in 1905, Catholic Extension is the leading supporter of Catholic missions in the United States. Catholic Extension serves the pastoral mission of the Church by ensuring that the essential ministries of poor and isolated U.S. dioceses remain intact by helping these dioceses build their capacity for the future.
Over the years, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $500 million to build strong communities of faith so that Catholics in these areas have the tools to inspire hope and ignite change. Activities and programs supported include: subsidies for church leaders doing pastoral and social ministry; support for college campus ministry and youth outreach; construction and renovation of churches and facilities; and funding for the education of lay and ordained leaders.
Catholic Extension has a full-time staff of 40 employees who are based at its headquarters in Chicago or in one of its five regional offices. Its staff is a group of talented and experienced professionals working in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment and team-focused culture. Catholic Extension headquarters is located in Chicago’s loop centrally located to public transportation. See Catholic Extension’s website for more information: www.catholicextension.org.
Senior Director of Individual Giving & Stewardship
Each year, Catholic Extension raises approximately $25 million via a mature development program that includes philanthropic revenue from annual, major and planned gifts. The fundraising team, which is the largest team at Catholic Extension, is organized into three groups: Individual Giving & Stewardship, Major Gifts and Planned Giving. Each group has a director who reports into the Vice President of Development.
Overseeing 5 – 10 employees, the senior director of individual giving & stewardship is responsible for all giving from individual sources contributing up to $5K annually. This includes a robust direct response program for donors up to $1,000 and a giving society for donors of $1,000 to $5,000. The senior director is also responsible for gift processing, data management, donor stewardship, and the young professionals fundraising initiative.
Catholic Extension’s direct response program is robust and successful. Each year, Catholic Extension coordinates and executes 45-50 highly organized and coordinated direct mail campaigns and renews and upgrades a segmented donor base of more than 40,000 recent donors resulting in $5.6 million annually. It also employs an aggressive mail acquisition strategy with strong results. Donor acquisition today averages 12,000 new donors per year and donor retention is at 70% for multi-year donors and 37% for newly acquired donors.
Mid-level giving ($1,000 to $5,000) is also strong and growing significantly. These donors comprise a special giving society, Socius Circle, that provides engagement opportunities for the 1,500 + annual members. The society is on target to increase to 10,000 members by 2020.
This team also has responsibility for gift processing, data management and donor stewardship. Maintaining a high standard for donor relations and stewardship, Catholic Extension recognizes and acknowledges donors through a coordinated and integrated strategy between donor direct mail, donor emails, web and social media efforts. Other elements of Catholic Extension’s stewardship program include good record keeping, consistent communications and authentic and nuanced relationships with donors over time.
Over the past few years, the Young Professionals of Boston group was formed and managed by the Individual Giving and Stewardship team. Events have been held in Boston to cultivate this group of young professionals with success that they want to replicate in other cities.
Catholic Extension looks to build on its past successes in individual giving through continual improvement, incorporating new opportunities, and increasing efficiencies and sophistication to promote further growth. This will be especially important as Catholic Extension is in the preparation phase of a major philanthropic campaign. The senior director of individual giving & stewardship position provides expertise in order to bring Catholic Extension to new levels of achievement in these efforts.
The senior director of individual giving & stewardship will be someone knowledgeable and experienced who can lead with strategy, as well as conduct the day-to-day running of the program, manage those who will implement the plan, work with Catholic Extension’s partners and foster continued growth by recognizing opportunities and responding to challenges.
Specifically, the senior director of individual giving & stewardship will:
Lead strategy and creative direction – (35%)
- Guide conversation and planning in collaboration with the vice president for development, chief operating officer and team members to formulate strategy and creative direction for both the overall program and particular campaigns.
- Maintain a working knowledge of Catholic Extension mission initiatives, funding requests, and stories to provide ideas and material for new and existing appeals.
- Work with internal and external team members to analyze and understand past performance, formulate results and apply lessons learned moving forward.
Manage the Individual Giving & Stewardship team members – (65%)
- Guide and assist team members who have responsibility for day-to-day implementation of the program.
- Work with team members to identify and recommend opportunities for improvement and growth of the program.
- Provide regular feedback on work progress and employee performance relative to plans and goals
- Manage the departmental budget.
- Interact with donors over the phone, fielding various types of questions, customer service and assisting with problem solving where needed.
Additional expectations of the senior director of individual giving & stewardship include:
- Serve as a valued member of the team, working cooperatively with others
- Be a role model for integrity, fiscal responsibility, ethical behavior and managerial excellence that supports Catholic Extension’s mission
- Perform other related duties as assigned