Last Monday, the day before the start of the National Catholic Educational Association convention and expo in Minneapolis, a group of eight panelists shared their dioceses' or organizations' approaches to helping Catholic schools not only survive, but grow.
Frank Butler, president of Washington-based Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, attested to philanthropy's important but changing role in funding Catholic education.
Fundraising looks different today than it did 10 or 20 years ago, Butler said. "It's really an interactive sport. The fact is, you've got to get engagement," he said. Traditionally, Catholic education fundraising has been "insular," and not open to ideas from donors, he said.
"That is a formula for disaster in today's fundraising environment," he said. Instead, Catholic schools should take advantage of Catholic networks and actively engage their donors in their mission, Butler said.
Despite the difficult economy, the climate for raising funds "could not be better," Butler said.
"Catholic schools are the hottest issue in Catholic philanthropy right now. ... We've never seen the level of donor interest as high as it is today," he said. [my emphasis]
I wonder if the people over at the Monroe County Catholic School System know this.
Full story here.