Fundraising Fiefdom

On Friday afternoon, an email went out to priests and diocesan employees announcing a new addition to the fundraising team at the archdiocese. This brought to mind the whole matter of fundraising and the growth of the archdiocesan fundraising fiefdom in the wake of the 2010 Catholic Appeal fundraising fiasco, where donations and the number of donors dropped substantially from the previous year.

First an excerpt from the Friday announcement:

“We are pleased to announce that Jacqueline Miller will be the new Catholic Appeal Manager in the Secretariat of Institutional Advancement.

In her new role she will be responsible for developing and implementing the Archdiocesan-wide Catholic Appeal throughout all 290 parishes. She will also be responsible for assisting parishes with increased offertory collections and capital campaigns.”

Jacqui has been an integral part of the Parish Financial Services team for the past three years and has built many strong relationships with pastors whom she has worked with on…”

But this post is not about Ms. Miller–who we understand has shown herself to be very capable and responsive–nor should comments be about her.  This post is the first of two this week about what is happening in fundraising.

The new fundraising entity, Boston Catholic Development Services, and new strategy were announced last November:

In order to strengthen and enhance the resources needed to fulfill the mission we received from Jesus Christ and His Church the Archdiocese is establishing a more effective, coordinated and strategic development approach.  The new entity, Boston Catholic Development Services (BCDS) will streamline the fundraising strategies of the Archdiocese. It will initially serve as the development office for the Archdiocese, the Clergy Funds and the Campaign for Catholic Schools. BCDS will provide dedicated development professionals and strategies for the Appeal, the ministries and programs of the Archdioceses, the initiatives of Campaign for Catholic Schools and the Clergy Fund.

The newly established 501(c) (3) organization will ensure donors of independence and accountability. A newly established Board of Trustees will provide oversight and some of its members will include member(s) of, the Archdiocese, the Campaign for Catholic Schools and Catholic Charities (if they choose to join).

If the headcount is an example of “streamlining” the strategies, that is not off to such a good start. According to the 2010 Catholic Appeal guide, it took 9 people working exclusively on fundraising (including the Secretary for Institutional Advancement)  to raise $15M in the 2010 Catholic Appeal.  When Kathleen Driscoll moved her crack Campaign for Catholic Schools fundraising team (that missed the CCS goal) to the Pastoral Center in December to have the chance to repeat their performance on a larger scale, they had 6 people on the team.   Add 9 + 6 and we get a total of 15 people.

Today, the  Pastoral Center employee directory shows the combined team for Institutional Advancement, Boston Catholic Development Services, and the Campaign for Catholic Schools has grown by 33%, to 20 people.   Are they raising 33% more funds this year?  Here are the people in the fundraising fiefdom today:

Kathleen Driscoll: Secretary, Institutional Advancement
Claudia C: Events Manager: Institutional Advancement
Michelle H: Communications Associate: Institutional Advancement
Jacqui M.: Catholic Appeal Manager: Institutional Advancement

Lynn M: Executive Assistant: Boston Catholic Development Services (BCDS)
Joann B: Manager of Gift Processing and Donor Relations: BCDS
Judy C: Sr. Gifts Processor: BCDS
Damian D: Chief Leadership Giving Officer, BCDS
Arlene D: Operations Associate: BCDS
Richard E: Director of Gift Planning & Stewardship, BCDS
Todd K: Sr. Programmer Analyst: BCDS
Courtney R: Temporary Gift Processor: BCDS
Courtney W: Development Marketing Manager: BCDS

Patricia B: Associate Vice President of Development: Campaign for Catholic Schools
Arthur B: Development Officer, Campaign for Catholic Schools
Sandra D: Director of Operations: Campaign for Catholic Schools
Kate D: Special Projects Manager: Campaign for Catholic Schools
Mary M: Vice President of Development: Campaign for Catholic Schools
Emily P: Development Associate: Campaign for Catholic Schools
Andrea P: Director Communications: Campaign for Catholic Schools

Beyond the growing size of the fiefdom, the “accountability” that was supposed to be ensured to donors is not obvious. The Campaign for Catholic Schools never announced their results on the “2010 Initiative” (which ended last December 31, 2010), there is no goal publicly announced for the current efforts by the Campaign for Catholic Schools, and the announcement of the 2011 Catholic Appeal does not give any goal. Each parish knows their Catholic Appeal goal so an aggregate goal is known internally. How can there be “accountability” for results by BCDS when their targeted goals are never shared publicly?

BCI is also wondering where Catholics can find the names of the members of the “newly established Board of Trustees.”  We realize that only 9 months have passed since the announcement, and with all of the hiring and fundraising, the minor matter of publishing the names of the Board of Trustees probably slipped through the cracks.

For greater transparency and accountability to faithful Catholics around fundraising, BCI would suggest that the RCAB consider the following:

  1. Publish fundraising goals for key initiatives, including the Catholic Appeal, Campaign for Catholic Schools, and Clergy Appreciation Dinner (to fund the Clergy Retirement Fund)
  2. Publish the results of these initiatives in a timely manner, and hold the team accountable for the results
  3. Work harder at keeping the size and overhead costs of the fundraising feifdom as small as possible to ensure donor funds are used most effectively toward ministry, not toward salaries of the fundraising people
  4. Publish the names of BCDS Trustees

What do you think?

Stay tuned for our next post, where we will share with you more details on the new strategy and plan that the fundraising fiefdom is following.

ps. Remember the new “one strike and you’re out” policy on personal attacks.

24 Responses to Fundraising Fiefdom

  1. DHO says:

    Whew! That’s quite a list! Any way to find out what the total salaries are for this crew? This is MY struggle; how to support my parish without the Archdiocese getting a slice of the pie for increased employee hiring. Any news from the Compensation Committee regarding the $325,000 salary of the Catholic Schools Supt.?

    • Michael says:

      It is not MY struggle. I will NOT GIVE ANY money (not one penny) until they stop these outrageous salaries. This is because they have taught us (well at least those of us who show up to mass more than once a year) that MONEY is the key motivating factor here in the Archdiocese of Boston (and coming in a close second is public embarrassment and exposure — like the BCI kind of exposure — not the other kind of exposure). So if you can’t beat em … join em … so to speak.

      I know some people may consider this decision (to not give any money to the Church) not very “nice. But in contrast I think stealing from the poor is not very nice. What ever happened to CHARITY? The Archdiocese is no place for careers. It is a place to give of your time, treasure and talents – GIVE (not TAKE). At least that is what they told me last time they solicited more money from me.

      • DHO says:

        Michael, I totally get what you are saying. My pastor is on the Compensation Committee and, when I emailed him about it, I got an ‘aw, shucks’ reply. I, too, am infuriated at the salaries that are floating around in Catholic Schools. The head of school at Cristo Rey Boston makes $180,000 + and families are struggling to make the nut every month. And don’t get me started on the $325 large ones for the Supt.

  2. Former Employee says:

    I am shocked to do this, but I need to disagree with the BCI on this one.

    I am a fundraising professional and it is not uncommon to ramp up staff before setting new and aggressive goals therefore we do not/will not know success or failure until next February.

    It is also not uncommon to set goals over multiple years, three is a common benchmark.

    Typically, after that period had passed new goals would be set, and if goals weren’t achieved without good justification lots of people would get the ax.

    A Development operation that size should be seeing a 10% growth year over year (when was the last time it did that?), with the caveat being that many places are lucky to remain flat in this economy.

    While I do wonder about the wisdom of adding so many people (who I suspect, based on titles and personal knowledge – they often paid above market when I was there years ago) that are likely paid very well, in such a bad economy, the fact is this ramp up should realistically be assessed in February when they announce the fundraising successes and (while I hate to say it) more realisitcally in Feb 2013 as they have not had the full team in place for a full year.

    And as an aside perhaps comparing there successes/goals to a similarly sized Development operation would be valuable.

    • Michael says:

      Maybe you missed it … but their fundraising has been going DOWN while their employee numbers and salaries have been going UP. Compare that method to some other organization with the same strategy and you will find an organization heading into bankruptcy

      • Former Employee says:

        I fully aware of the facts, I expect fundraising will continue to drop (too many unhappy faithful Catholics) and salaries will continue to rise. They were above scale for many jobs when I was there….quite a few years ago now.

        I am trying to offer an objective assessment.

        It’s an entirely new crew who should be given the chance to succeed on their merits.

        To project failure before they have had the opportunity to succeed is kind of unfair.

        And yes, they should be absolutely open about goals, they should also offer a fair assessment of COST PER DOLLAR RAISED which is a very common metric (shouldn’t be higher than 18 cents max)….which I suspect they will be way out of whack.

        Believe me I am no fan, but I do know many faithful Catholics who have gone to work there out of loyalty to the Church and come out on the other side jaded and disgusted. Out of the folks I know on that list none were practicing Catholics when I worked with them (I suppose they could be now), I must assume, in all fairness that there are some among the others.

  3. Pastoral Center Staff Member says:

    There is also a new VP of development that will be announced this week or next week.

    With all these new hires, the Vicar General has said at a previous staff meeting that it is being done for the same budget as before. How is that possible?

    • Carolyn says:

      If indeed a new VP for Development is being hired, is that person being brought in over Kathleen Driscoll? Or would that person report to Kathleen Driscoll?

      • Pastoral Center Staff Member says:

        The new person would report to Kathleen.

        And yes it will be another woman.

  4. Angry Parish Council Member says:

    I don’t have fundraising expertise, but common sense says something’s wrong here.The Catholic Appeal runs every year, not in 3 year cycles.Parishes have goals and for years, the annual RCAB goal was stated publicly when the appeal was launched, so why not say publicly what the RCAB goal is now? The CCS stated a goal at the start of their 3-year 2010 Initiative, but never said how they did. What makes anyone believe there’s some new big campaign they be ramping up for that no one knows about? Something smells fishy when they can’t tell us what the goals and results are for the stuff we know about.

    • Former Employee says:

      They should report their goals and successes and/or failures.

      They absolutely do need to report openly and honestly, and if they don’t raise $16.5 MM ($15 MM + 10%) by February that should be noted.

      The way a three year goal would be structured is as follows.

      2011 Appeal $16.5 MM
      2012 Appeal $18.2 MM
      2013 Appeal $19.7 MM

      That is specifically for the Appeal, given the size of the office and the fact that there are multiple fundraising entities under the roof I would expect to see a seperate goal for the CCS etc.

      Departmental wide goals should probably be much, much higher.

      I honestly don’t believe there is a big campaign ramping up

      I also honestly believe they will release any goals. They certainly have them I am sure.

      And I believe that something doesn’t smell fishy.

      I am trying to do my best to stay objective…..very, very hard for me.

  5. jbq2 says:

    There is no doubt that you “stumbled on to something”. Sixteen of the twenty named are women. This is a sophisticated “behavior modification” program. it is socialism “pure and simple”.with a complex way of “redistributing income”. Now, you know the connection to the Obama Administration. This is the world socialism movement of Malachi Martin. Abortion is secondary to social justice. The sad thing is that this movement, again as seen by Father Martin, SJ deceased, is that it is run by a “superforce” which is a euphemism for a gay constabulary among the hierarchy. This opens the very real possibility of links to the devil himself.

    • Former Employee says:

      The fundraising profession is probably about 80% women especially particularly with those under 50.

      Some offices even have a higher percentage, an example would be the Boston Symphony Orchestra which has a very large office.

    • Another former employee says:

      I guess I am confused. How is an office being top heavy women connect to socialism and the redistribution of income. Nor do I see a connection to abortion. Women work. In this day and age it is a necessity for both single and married women. This is the real world.

    • Jbq2, The first part of what you wrote–the factual information about the number of women vs men–is fine. That is objective, factual information. The rest of what you wrote starting with ‘sophisticated “behavior modification” program’ sounds like wild speculation that is not really suited to this venue and is also not germane to the main topic of the post. We ask readers to keep their comments highly relevant to the main topic of the post, and it would also be preferred that you stick with with objective, factual information in your comments in the future.

  6. JRBreton says:

    Could this be indicative? None of the parishes hereabouts is close to meeting its goals for the Cardinal’s Appeal. The figures published in the parish bulletins range from 50-75%. The bulletins regularly publish solicitation for the Appeal, even this late in the year. I wonder if other locations are seeing the same thing?

  7. Mack says:

    I understand the need for a large organization like RCAB to have formal appeals and people to run them, etc. Yet, something about all this seems out of proportion to me. As an outsider, I have no idea how such appeals are run. But it seems to be coming more from the bureaucratic side of things than from the charismatic, Spirit-inspired Church.

  8. Frank says:

    While I realize the world is continually changing and we must adapt to changes,, the blog regarding fundraising by the Archdiocese made me think about how things were done during the times of the recently disentombed Cardinal O’Connell and his successor Cardinal Cushing. During the more than six decades of their reigns as Archbishops of Boston, they oversaw a continual program of construction and expansion of services. Churches, rectories, convents, schools, hospitals were built throughout the Archdiocese.
    No multi million dollar fund raising campaigns were waged. No million dollar dinners were held. During that era more parishes and more parishioners were served by a relatively small staff of workers at what was then called “The Chancery”. Mostly staffed by priests and nuns and lay people whose salaries were average at most. Why does it now cost so much more now to accomplish so much less?

    • Liam says:

      Because being a nun or priest is not a status profession that enough Catholic parents will eagerly encourage their children into, so there’s much much less low-cost labor available. That’s why. In the postwar era, Catholics assimilated, and networked (the work of generation building upon generation) themselves out of that context. All silver linings have a cloud.

      • Michael says:

        PROFESSION… CAREER… OR VOCATION? Does anyone today know what it means to have a vocation, much less, encourage one’s children to seek God’s will for theirs?

      • Liam says:


        I agree, but I hope you understand that, in the primary focus on vocation (which, btw, I prefer) was not the dominant trend in Catholic history. For most of our history, the reason people ended up in religious life or as clerics was primarily socio-economic. It’s sad, but true.

    • Mack says:

      Cardinal Cushing did do an amazing amount of building and was very generous to various charitable causes. But when he died, the Archdiocese was heavily in debt. Cardinal Medeiros had to deal with that financial burden.

  9. […] follow-up of our last post: Fundraising Feifdom, we found a few points worth making that highlight the future direction of fundraising for the […]

  10. rf5580 says:

    Beyond the growing size of the fiefdom, the “accountability” that was supposed to be ensured to donors is not obvious. Of course it isn’t. True to form, they TALK about accountability and for those in the feifdom, that is sufficient.

%d bloggers like this: