Candidate for Treasurer
What has been your involvement in VOTF to date? e.g., Are you a member
of an affiliate? What role have you played? Give examples of work
done with VOTF.
- Founding member of the VOTF affiliate at St. Ignatius
in Chestnut Hill, MA
- Chairman, VOTF National Development (Fundraising) Committee (current)
- Member, VOTF Development Committee since its inception
- Paid consultant to VOTF on Development issues (Jan-April 2003)
- Member, Marketing Communications Committee
- Former member, VOTF Voice of Compassion Committee
How will you contribute to VOTF's pursuit of its mission and its
three goals in the office you seek? e.g. What experience have you
had that would help in this position? In your work, education, hobbies
or otherwise? Do you currently, or have you recently, held a leadership
position in any other organization?
Over 20 years of Professional Non-Profit Management Experience
- 23 years of professional
management level non-profit experience, plus experience as a consultant
to a number of non-profits. I have worked
as a senior manager at Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard School
of Public Health, and as a consultant with The Home for Little
MSPCA, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s
Hospital, and other non-profits.
- Managed expense budgets
the size of VOTF’s, and demonstrated
my ability to achieve results in financially constrained environments
- Significant non-profit
- Helped develop the strategic plan for a major Boston non-profit organization
(Joslin Diabetes Center) as part of the senior management
- Helped develop the annual organizational budget, downsized the budget
when needed, and expanded as necessary, as part of the senior
management team. (Joslin Diabetes Center).
- Worked closely on the
VOTF strategic planning document Plan for Progress, which as far
as I know is VOTF’s only current strategic
Significant Non-Profit Experience Working with an Affiliate Network
While at Joslin Diabetes Center, I worked for more than a decade as
part of a team that created and serviced affiliates in other parts
of the country. I know how the affiliate process and affiliate network
works, what services are important to offer, what it costs to do
it right, what some of the pitfalls are, how to structure the relationship
in a way that works financially and practically. I also know the
kinds of things that can be costly to do in working with an affiliate
network and add little value to your network.
Other non profit leadership experience
- I am also currently President of the Buttonwood Village Neighborhood
Association, an activist organization serving my neighborhood
in Brookline, Massachusetts.
I believe this combination of non-profit and affiliate-related experience
is unique among all of the candidates running for office.
I am committed to using my strategic planning and management expertise
to move the organization forward in the following areas that are key
to our future:
Commitment to Transparency -- for VOTF and the Church itself
- We need to be as financially transparent and as transparent in our
overall actions as we want the Catholic Church to be. This has been
a problem in recent months for the organization. My goal is to return
the organization to greater transparency in its management operations.
That means answering a reporter's question when they ask how much
a member of our paid leadership team makes, and providing people
with a copy of a consultant's report, and knowing the process it was based
on, if we are stating that its results are the reason behind a sea-change
in our organization.
- Financial transparency in the Catholic Church must become a key
issue for VOTF in the coming year and in my role as treasurer I
push that tirelessly -- first, by insuring that we ourselves are transparent,
and second by identifying opportunities to push that agenda
and wherever we can with the Church itself.
Commitment to Developing a Sustainable Revenue Model and Membership
There has been little
focus by the officers and trustees on a revenue model that
can sustain or grow the organization. Yet like any national
or international non-profit we need money to expand
visibility and effectiveness at motivating change. To wield greater
clout as an organization – and to have the funds to wield that
clout effectively -- we need a bigger base of supporters. While the
number of parish voice affiliates has grown, this is not leading to
sufficient growth in membership numbers to generate the revenue needed
to support a long-term strategy to change the Catholic Church. I'm
committed to establishing a revenue model or models that will help
the organization increase its number of supporters and the revenue
it has to promote the organization’s agenda.
- I've been on the VOTF Development Committee -- and helped run the
VOTF development operation in a paid position for a
period of time -- for the past 2 years. I was recently named the chair of the
Committee. I know where our revenue model stands now,
to be done. My non-profit experience has taught me how
to do that and how much it costs.
Commitment to Executing a Mission-Driven Financial Planning Process
I’m committed to developing a legitimate annual budget process
in concert with the Executive Director, officers and trustees, and
through the creation of a Finance Committee for VOTF. The annual budgeting
process requires a planning process in which goals for the organization
are clearly established, and realistic revenue and expenses, staffing
and volunteer levels are developed and vetted to make achieving those
goals likely. I’m committed to a budgeting process that also
recognizes that we are in a constantly changing environment and have
to be able – and willing – to respond to opportunities
as they present themselves. Most importantly, I’m committed
to communicating to the organization in clear, simple language what
our budget is and what our specific goals as an organization are for
the coming year and beyond.
What are your hopes for VOTF, the movement, in the next year
and in the future? e.g., What do you think are the challenges we face?
What would you define as "success" for VOTF?
I think the greatest challenges we face are the following:
1) Finances and membership: We at VOTF need to grow our membership
and our number of “supporters” if we are ever to have
a significant voice in changing the Catholic Church and achieving
adequate accountability from the hierarchy for the clergy sexual
abuse scandal. VOTF needs to develop a revenue model that can sustain
the organization and finance significant growth so that we can have
affiliates in every city and town – and have hundreds of thousands
of “supporters” who may not belong to an affiliate but
who support our mission and goals in other ways.
2) Waking millions of sleeping Catholics. There are many Catholics
who don’t have the time it takes to become members of a VOTF
affiliate, but believe in many of the same things we do. Very likely
these individuals hardly know who we are. We need to figure out how
to reach these people and enlist them at some level to our cause --
so that we as an organization can more loudly and effectively demand
accountability from bishops for transferring pedophile priests and
for the financial problems and parish closings facing many dioceses.
We need the resources to reach all Catholics with a message of who
we are and what we stand for, and we need to identify ways to enlist
all Catholics in our movement in different ways, depending on the
time and resources these Catholics have to become involved. We need
to develop an agreed upon strategy amongst the leadership of VOTF
to determine how more Catholics can become involved in our efforts.
3) Developing adequate decision-making structures. Simply stated,
the current VOTF governance structure does not work well. There
is currently no documented governance structure despite the efforts
several committees over two years. The relationship between the
Board of Trustees and the Representative Council as well as the
of the officers and the office under the direction of the Executive
Director are all unclear. We must create a streamlined governance
structure that is at once transparent and simultaneously allows
us as an organization to move nimbly to accomplish our goals.
My goals for success in the coming year would be the following:
Bishops Accountability – We must find ways to mobilize more
Catholics to demand that those bishops who transferred pedophile priests
are identified by name (at least!) and held accountable for their
actions. This is the only way healing can occur. We also need to identify
ways to get more Catholics demanding that bishops be held accountable
in those dioceses that have serious financial difficulties, and in
those dioceses (like Boston) where flawed processes with inadequate
lay involvement in parish closings have divided the Church, perhaps
A plan for increasing membership and supporters – We won’t
go from having 30,000 members to having 300,000 members and supporters
overnight. But the leadership of VOTF – most likely with the
assistance of outside experts -- needs to develop, agree upon, and
begin executing a viable, sustainable plan for significant membership
growth. An affiliate-only strategy will not achieve this. We need
to develop classic membership (or supporter) strategies used by many
non-profits. Without such a plan, I fear that the organization over
the long term can simply be ignored and will slip into irrelevance.
An effective governance structure – We need to look to outside
experts in other non-profits to identify what works in other organizations,
and adapt that information to develop a representative governance
structure that is transparent and responsive to a dynamic environment.
Are you prepared to keep any of your hopes and desires for the future
of the Church that are not related to our three goals out of public/formal
discussions of VOTF?
Yes, have already had to do this for the past 2.5 years.
What inspired you to join VOTF?
The arrogance and lack of accountability by the Church hierarchy
during the clergy sexual abuse scandal appalled me. I joined VOTF
because this organization was the only group (other than the media
and the courts) acting to make the hierarchy accountable.
What work, ministries, volunteer activities have you participated
in for the Church?
I’ve been in church choirs at different points in my life,
(I was in the Choir for the Mass on the Common in Boston, for example)
but in general was relatively under-involved other than going to Church
on Sundays. I attended 12 years of Catholic schools. VOTF has been
my major involvement with the Catholic Church.
Each nominee is asked to write a 150-200 word statement for the website
that would tell why the candidate seeks this office. In this statement,
the candidates are encouraged to include the information provided
in answering the above questions.
VOTF is at a crossroads. We must generate more people-power and financial
support if our efforts to achieve bishop accountability and meaningful
lay involvement are to succeed.
My goals as Treasurer and officer:
- Develop an annual mission-driven financial planning process.
- Model financial and management transparency -- and require
it of our Church.
- Develop plans for growth BOTH in parish voice
affiliates AND individual “supporters.” We need both “on-the-ground
action” by affiliates AND the voices and financial support
of individual supporters for success.
- Execute a strategic planning process that yields a sustainable
revenue model to support long-term growth.
- Devise an effective governance structure.
Over 20 years of professional non-profit management, communications,
fundraising, and consulting experience at organizations including
Harvard School of Public Health, Joslin Diabetes Center, Home for
Little Wanderers, MSPCA, Brigham & Women’s Hospital,
- Developed strategic planning processes and plans for non-profit organizations.
- Developed and managed budgets.
- More than 10 years experience delivering services to a nationwide
affiliate network in a non-profit.
- Founding member, St. Ignatius VOTF affiliate.
- Chairman, VOTF Development Committee (current).
- Member, VOTF Development Committee since its inception.
- Paid consultant to VOTF on Development issues (Jan-April 2003).
- Member, VOTF Marketing Communications Committee.
- Former member, VOTF Voice of Compassion Committee.
A short curriculum vitae is also expected from each candidate.
36 Country Road
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 277-0696 (home)
Marketing and fundraising communications professional with more than
20 years hands-on experience developing tools in all media (including
trade show presence, video, internet, newsletters, magazines, print
collateral, media relations, and print, radio and TV advertising).
Significant experience supervising outside agencies and internal
staff. Capabilities include large-scale web project management;
budgeting; strategic business planning; brand management; development
of grant proposals, case statements and other fundraising materials;
launching new products and growing existing products on tight marketing
Coordinated efforts to provide expert content to Time, Newsweek and
U.S. News and World Report for advertising supplements that reached
8 million readers at no charge to organization.
• Developed updated corporate identity and brand management
program for organization and nationwide franchisees, using an extranet
to implement key components of strategy.
• Led project team that developed award-winning company Internet
site www.joslin.org (version 3 currently online, version 4 in planning
stages). Site was rated top diabetes website.
• Developed nationwide public service campaign that garnered
free exposure on the largest Spanish-language television network in
the U.S. and throughout the Northeast via cable.
• Converted money-losing book publishing program to profit
center that builds national brand.
• Expanded media relations to position organization as one
of the nation’s leading experts on diabetes, now routinely contacted
by major media such as USA Today, ABC News and CNN.
• Helped new non-profit develop its first ever fundraising
program through events, email-based fundraising, and development of
major gifts and membership strategies.
• Helped local research institute and a local teaching hospital
with foundation fundraising research and strategies.
• Devised development communications strategy for $10 million
and $45 million Capital Campaigns.
• Launched new newsletter for major genetics institute.
Director of Development Communications, Harvard School of Public Health
• Principal, Rafferty Communications Strategies, Chestnut Hill,
MA. 2002- 2003
Clients included: Voice of the Faithful, MSPCA, Brigham and Women’s
UMass Worcester Medical Foundation, Harvard-Partners Genetics and
New England Home for Little Wanderers, Brookline 21st Century Fund.
• Director of Communications, Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes
Center, Boston MA. 1983-2002
• Public Information Officer, Harvard Medical School News Office,
Boston, MA. 1981-1983
Assistant City Editor/Politics and Government Reporter, various newspapers,
including: Binghamton (NY) Sun Bulletin, Syracuse (NY) Post Standard, Oneida
Daily Dispatch. 1977-1980
Syracuse University, B.A., Magna Cum Laude, 1978, dual major in Magazine
Journalism (Newhouse School of Communications) and Policy Studies
(Arts and Sciences)
Elected to Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honorary society
Recipient of Regents and University scholarships, National Merit Letter
Professional Awards and Honors
1993: New England Direct Marketing Association, First Place Award,
Fundraising Mail (in conjunction with Tharler/Opper).
1997: Will Solimene Award of Excellence, from New England Chapter
of American Medical Writers Association, for article in Joslin Magazine
entitled “Overcoming Hurdles: How to Get High Quality Diabetes
Care in Today’s Changing Healthcare Landscape.”
1998: USA Today “Hot Website of the Day” for www.joslin.org,
April 8, 1998.
1998: National Health Information Bronze Award for Patient Education
Information by private businesses of 50+ employees, from CareWise,
Inc. and American Custom Publishing Corporation (in conjunction with
1998: IN AWE (International Award for Excellence), Silver Award,
Multimedia (Internet) for www.joslin.org website (in conjunction with
1999: World Wide Web Health Awards, Bronze Award for Patient Education
Information in the Hospital/Health Care Systems Division, for www.joslin.org
website, from American Custom Publishing Inc., and The Graphic Universe
(in conjunction with Agency.com).
2002: www.joslin.org rated best diabetes website on the Internet
in The Diabetes Educator (a publication of the American Association
of Diabetes Educators).
Buttonwood Village Neighborhood Association: President, 2003 to present
Voice of the Faithful: Chairman and member, Development Committee;
Member, Marketing and Communications Committee, 2003-present.