The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM) is an international Catholic congregation of women religious called to share the mission of Christ. While they are headquartered in Tarrytown, New York, the congregation has sisters living and working all across the globe.
The sisters have remained true to the guiding principle set forth by their founders: to respond to the needs of our time. The RSHM place themselves and their resources at the service of those who are most in need of justice, especially women and children, enabling the powerless, the deprived, the marginalized and the voiceless to work effectively for their own development and liberation.
In recent years, the RHSM found that responding to the needs of our time applied not only to their ministries but also to their donors. With no formal development plan of action or measurable goals, donor relations fell on the shoulders of one sister. With so many ministries and donors, it became nearly impossible to keep up with personal cultivation and relationship building—the hallmarks of best fundraising practices.
In 2016, the RHSM called American City Bureau to help. Our work began with an assessment of the sisters’ major and planned giving efforts. We then created a realistic plan rooted in best practices to enhance their development efforts over time. ACB helped the RHSM grow from a mostly direct mail fundraising operation to a high functioning, relational development effort.
Cultivating donors became a community-wide endeavor vs. having one sister responsible for everything. We guided the sisters in the hiring of lay development professionals, the first time in their history. We worked seamlessly through the transition of two leadership teams.
And when the pandemic hit, ACB stepped up and quickly shifted gears to overseeing and managing the RSHM Advancement Office.
The results speak for themselves. The sisters’ development efforts have skyrocketed—a 473% growth in funding results!
L to R – Sr. Rosamond Blanchet, Area Leader; Sr. Catherine Vincie and Sr. Susan Gardella, Councillors.
“The dynamism of Maureen Egan, Vice President of American City Bureau, has been a catalyst for the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in our quest THAT ALL MAY HAVE LIFE. Her comprehension of the big picture is accompanied by an exquisite sense of detail. In ACB and Maureen, we have been blessed with consultation for growth built upon rich and enduring relationships.
~ Sister Rosamond Blanchet, Area Leader, RSHM